studentsoffranzbardon.com http://www.studentsoffranzbardon.com/_rss.blog Blog Rss Feed Interview with Michael Lamb - Students of Franz Bardon Community Questions Answered //studentsoffranzbardon.com/blog/interview-with-michael-lamb-franz-bardon-william-cook-and-the-hermetic-journey An exciting interview today from Michael Lamb (Scroll down), a long term pracitioner who has a lot to share. Originally this was going to be transcribed in a similar way to our other interviews, but after hearing the depth of the answers Michael was providing and the way he shared his story I felt we needed to change our usual way of presenting these interviews on this occasion and simply provide the direct audio of Michaels answers. In doing this I have created a podcast channel so perhaps in the future we will explore the podcast format  with me, Simon, interviewing the guests. 

So a few things before we start, as this was not originally designed to be an audio interview we just have Michael, obviously in the future this will change if we change the format. Also if you like the interview please do let Michael know in the comments as it was extremely generous of him to share so much.  So yes this is long but well worth it, so get comfy and enjoy. 

Lastly we have other plans for SOFB, if you would like to see them manifest and appreciate what we have shared so far then please consider supporting us on subscribestar here

You can reach Michael via his website here.

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Mon, 29 Mar 2021 15:09:00 GMT //studentsoffranzbardon.com/blog/interview-with-michael-lamb-franz-bardon-william-cook-and-the-hermetic-journey
Ray del Sole - An in-depth Interview with questions from the Students of Franz Bardon community //studentsoffranzbardon.com/blog/ray-del-sole-an-in-depth-interview-with-questions-from-the-students-of-franz-bardon-community  

I am extremely happy to be able to share an in-depth interview with Ray with questions compiled from our Facebook community. If you enjoy this interview then please let us know in the comments. If you enjoy Ray's work then support him by getting his books and spreading the word about his work. 

If you have enjoyed this interview then please consider supporting us here.


SOFB: Please introduce yourself and tell us what the latest news is with SURA, your books and any other projects you have planned that you want to make public.

Ray: My name is Ray del Sole. I have been in the Franz Bardon training for 27 years now. I work as a naturopath of psychotherapy and as a spiritual healer and coach for around 7 years. Most people know me from reading my books about the spiritual path. I have published more than 40 books, partially translated into 12 languages. In 2021 my latest book about spiritual Self-Help will come. It offers a deeper understanding about all the problems and challenges we face in this world and how we can help ourselves to manage them for more health, happiness and success in life. In cooperation with the Templar Research Institute I have been offering online courses and public presentations since 2020. My Sura Academy for spiritual development on the basis of Bardon´s teachings has offered many interesting experiences and I am very happy that some students have made extraordinary progress. This is a wonderful gift for me which confirms my work. All these years of cooperating with various students, seeing their problems on the path, made me realize that the books of Bardon are ideal conceptions about the possible training and development, but not taking care of the needs of the student. So, unfortunately a lot start but most give up and only a very few make real progress. The point here is that progress is possible for most serious students and this is often easier than most imagine. The problem is just that the studies and training need to be redesigned, putting the needs of the student into the focus and not the ideal version of perfect mastery. Depending on the Divine Grace I will work out a training which allows progress on the path of mastery for all genuine seekers. It will take a lot of time and effort but at the same time it will be a great key for mastery in life and on the path. In cooperation with the Templar Research Institute, I also want to launch spiritual-social projects in service of mankind. We are here to prepare the golden age.

SOFB: Can you share any insight on the significance of the Depth Point and how accomplishing it may impact a student?

Ray: The depth point or Akasha point belongs to the techniques which work with Akasha or the Akasha principle. Working in this way means to work in a divine way with superior easiness, highest efficiency and great power / influence. All what is connected to Akasha is beyond the boundaries and limitations of creation and with this superior in application. This means that all advanced students and masters enjoy using the Akasha principle and the Akasha point for their operations. The depth point is the position of God. When you enter this point, then you get into full control of the object or subject. You can charge easily, program, influence, etc.

SOFB Community: Have you gotten to the point of physical manifestation of the elements? If so, how long did it take and what modifications to the training in IIH did you have to make?

Ray: The elements are used in main on the astral plane, partially on the mental plane and for the physical plane the usability is questionable. Why? Because we use the four elements for magical operations and especially for the own “performance tuning” mentally and astrally. You can use the fire element to grow your personal power to maximum degrees. Or you can use it for shielding your microcosm. Or you use the elements to create elementars, astral beings which serve you. This must be understood basically. The second aspect is that it is only a question of time and diligent training to make the elements so dense that they show effects on the material plane. This means that you do not need to be superior, talented or blessed in anyway to achieve physical effects. It just takes training. There are three hints how you can improve your results in the training. First hint: While you are sitting in the center of the element energy, you should take time to meditate about the qualities of the element. Concentration and meditation over a longer period of time has densifying effects on any kind of energy. So, the longer and the more intensive you meditate about the heat of the fire, the stronger and denser the heat becomes. And the more you accumulate the denser and stronger the fire element becomes in your body. Second hint: The longer you keep an element of energy in your body, the more physical become the effects, - heat, cold, heaviness, lightness. The body processes all energies by time and this means they unfold denser effects. Third hint: You can add to your exercise the accumulation of the element in a glass of water. For example, you accumulate the fire element in this glass of water. Then you impregnate it with your will to activate and strengthen the fire element in yourself on all planes, - will power, personal power and the nearly physical heat energy. Then you drink it. Again, your body will process these energies. 

I personally have done extreme training with the four elements, keeping them inside accumulated over night to get maximum results. Extreme training is extreme and it is unpleasant as you have to deal with the effects (fever, sleepless nights, ice cold, breathing difficulties). Only the air element is very nice. Here the only challenge is to activate your will to release it again. You feel so high, without any feeling of your physical body that it can be hard to let go. 

In the higher steps, you connect rituals to the work with the elements and later you express your divine authority over all elements and energies. And even later, you integrate highest divine will power. This has all effects on your work with the elements. In the end, when you take a look at the whole training, all the mysteries and powers, then other goals become much more interesting.

SOFB Community: Can you give me some advice on how to write a journal? 

Ray: I recommend using not only one journal but at least two. One journal is to document your training with the exercises and your performance. This documentation helps you to keep control over your development. A second journal is useful to note down important insights and instructions or techniques. This is very useful to look up things. You could take a third journal to write down special experiences, mystical events, etc. 

In general it is important to ask yourself how you can improve your own studies and training, - on the basis of Bardon´s teachings – with own insights. You are in charge. You must manage your studies and training in the best possible way for the maximum of success. Bardon just offered an overview, the ideal concept. And we are called to put it into practice under real life conditions.

SOFB Community: Can you recommend books related to letter mysticism, except Franz Bardon's Key to the True Quabbalah?

Ray: Basically, it is important to understand that Bardon has revealed the so-called “magical Quabbalah” which is something different than the normal, quabbalistic teachings. The magical Quabbalah is traditionally forbidden because it transforms the student into a divine being. Who dares to become divine if your idea of God is filled with fears and tabus? For this reason, we have only the book of Bardon available which is absolutely sufficient for the training. I have published a workbook with the right colors and overviews. It can ease the training. The only thing you should regard is that the translations of Bardon´s book are filled with errors. And if you take the wrong color or other wrong qualities in the practical training then you get wrong results. So it is useful to check and compare the original German book with the English translation respectively to check my workbook for safe guidance. Besides all, the real quabbalistic training deals completely with the macrocosmic, divine powers, qualities, skills and states of consciousness. It is not in anyway human or humanlike.  

SOFB Community: How can we sublimate the sadness and pain we face in life in an alchemy way? If that's possible, will the pain and suffering we experience in our daily lives be a shadow of our joy and a driving force to overcome the difficult times when we accept them as one?

Ray: Life consists of good and bad experiences. Our task is to learn to deal with these experiences in a useful, wise way. All experiences offer a message and a lesson to learn. When we are able to stay centered in ourselves, then we can accept and manage all our experiences. Otherwise, we can easily get into a state of imbalance where we lose control and self-determination. All experiences offer energy. The good experiences are directly supportive, vitalizing, motivating, strengthening, etc. The bad experiences are the opposite. They have blocking, destructive effects. In the sense of alchemy, we can use the energy of the negative experiences and transform them into positive energy. This is a matter of meditation and the use of universal energies. Here the dark, dense energies need to be activated, vitalized, raised in vibration and then transformed into the desired energy. The advantage of alchemistic transformation is that you make use of the powers within you. Bardon pointed at this possibility. For example, you can turn anger into positive fire, into a positive drive for success in life and on the path. Besides this approach, negative thoughts and emotions can be released in a process of healing old traumas. In general, we are all asked to purify ourselves. Purification offers high degrees of vitality, the vital stream of energies in the human system and with this increasing of personal power and a healthy work with universal energies. Besides all these ideas, - pain, suffering, sadness can unfold a great drive to make progress and to cause necessary changes in your life. If all is just good, there is no motivation to change anything, no drive for personal development. Life is offering a lot of messages and lessons. We are here to listen and to learn. Challenges offer opportunities to grow and to make precious experiences. Without challenges, problems and difficulties life would be too boring.

SOFB Community: In your opinion, how to deal with psychological problems, like anxiety and panic attack during meditation and the first steps of Bardon's training? (Besides taking medicine and do therapy). 

Ray: The main question is why there occur anxiety and panic attacks during the training. Both have a message, and both ask for changes, for healing. The best thing to do is to consult a spiritual healer with psychological background. He can help to dissolve the causes and to heal the trauma. Normal medicine and therapy can be very inefficient, respectively suppress only the symptoms. Real healing is necessary.

SOFB Community: In your books you teach some healing techniques, what's the best in these cases? 

Ray: Hypnotherapy and spiritual healing are very useful in general. You can also work on problems by yourself in meditation or with energies you program to dissolve the negative energies of mind and soul, healing the wounds or traumas. There are many ways as usual. The question is if you want to do it on your own or if you want to consult a professional. And if you want to treat yourself the question is how skilled you are in working with universal energies or doing meditation. 

SOFB Community: In your books you recommend floral and homeopathy. How do they work in a "Bardon" point of view?

Ray: Homeopathy works with very specific energies which can influence and balance mind, soul and body. The use of herbs has a focus on offering fluid condensers with the corresponding energies to purify, heal and vitalize. Bach flowers are similar to homeopathy but have more a focus on positive ideas and energies. It is more the “nice” way of comforting soul and mind.

SOFB Community: In others "mystical paths" the "egregore" seems to be more present in the earlier stages of a member, they provide some "spiritual support". Does Bardon's system have something like that? If not, how can we get some "spiritual support" if we need it? The relationship with the spirits in the second book can/should be established before step Vlll?

Ray: Yes, unfortunately there is no egregore and there is no direct support by a tradition or school. In a tradition there are masters in the mental realms, in the astral realms and in the material world who build a kind of “spiritual energy supply” from the highest down to the lowest world. This is connected to corresponding energy atmospheres which can be also called egregores. In these energy fields the masters and their students work and get all the necessary energy supply for success and growth. 

Now, as this all is missing, we can use the support from other traditions or from the own religious background. Or we can call on the spiritual realms, deities, God for support, inspiration, guidance, spiritual energy supply, protection, etc. 

Normally, you go to a church or temple on a regular basis to recharge yourself. You can do this or you look for a different way, for example by creating your own holy space for prayers and for receiving spiritual support.

 In general, you can pray to all positive deities, the spirits of the spheres and ask for their kind support, inspiration, guidance, help, also for healing and enlightenment. They will be supportive corresponding to your maturity and attitude. Selfishness, bad intentions and ungratefulness are not recommended.

 

SOFB Community: View on working through IIH in order and (2) view of spirits in PME (real or coded ciphers [Stejnar] or blinds? whether or not Bardon did actually intend for us to contact them? positive or negative? when and how can we start to work with them: only after Step 8 or before?), and why.

Ray: It is your free choice if you want to follow Stejnar or Bardon or someone else. I have no problems with the names of the deities in PME. They are the quabbalistic names of the deities which means that the names are quabbalistic formulas. A quabbalistic formula represents the nature of a deity. So, if you are a Quabbalist you can check the names if they are true or not. Besides the quabbalistic dimension, all deities have various names depending on culture and time. 

 If you want to work with deities, then you should think about how you want to do it and for which purpose. These spirits of the spheres are all gods and goddesses with total divine nature, often with great divine power and authority. A human being is nearly nothing in comparison to them. It is like when an ant starts talking to an elephant. These deities know everything about you, your personality, your past and your future. You cannot hide or pretend something. So, it makes much sense to think about how you want to appear and what you want to ask for. The positive deities are kind and supportive in general. So, if you are kind with a positive attitude, your prayers might be heard.

SOFB Community: What are your views on veganism?

Ray: When you eat vegan, then you need to check that you get all vital substances in the necessary amount. This can be a challenge. Another point is the psychological aspect. If you have been used to normal food and you change to veganism, then it can bring negative feelings. It can feel like a “punishment” as you neglect consciously what you felt as good and satisfying before. This is the main point why companies offer vegan food which looks like normal food. Otherwise, you could eat salads and normal vegetarian dishes like they are known from Indian kitchen, etc.

However, it is your decision. You can accomplish the highest peaks on the path independent from the diet you have chosen. It is more about maintaining your health and performance.

SOFB Community: How do you relate alchemy to IIH (etc)

Ray: Alchemy is not in the center of considerations or teachings in IIH but nevertheless all students undergo the necessary alchemistic processes during the training. It is similar with other ideas like Kundalini awakening, enlightenment, self-realization. You will go through all these things without big discussions or specific approaches. Besides this, today all different paths of development and training are available. It is just an individual choice. 

SOFB Community: Here are several from the same member.
1) How to go about the process of imbuing condensed quantities (ex: vital force, elements, fluids, letters, akasha etc), with abstract, vague, and not so clear and familiar: ideations/intentions/purposes/qualities? (various different examples: fixing the time, the plane, and the end result, of the operation of the sent quantity. High cognition, good memory, fertility, feeling of purification, perfect health, lucky, growing abundance, prosperity , etc)


Ray: It makes sense to supply energy for each goal separately. You could use something like a talisman, - one for each goal, and then accumulate vital energy or the fitting higher energies in it. Then you can do the programming. Or if you want to accumulate the energies in yourself then you do a meditation only on one goal per session. First of all, you should make a list with your goals, then you work through the list by making up your mind what you exactly wish for (per goal). You put your thoughts into a simple sentence. Then you can add universal phrases for the timing, the stabilization, recharging, effects, etc. If you work with talismans, then you should recharge your talisman on a regular basis and it makes also sense to meditate again about its efficiency. If you work directly on yourself, then you can repeat the accumulations and the meditations until you have totally integrated the desired quality, power, skill or change. Here it is important to keep the meditation for around half an hour and afterwards to exhale the extra energies. The programmed energies simply need time to work in you, on your mind and soul. Besides all these aspects, just trust into the underlying intelligence of creation and your microcosm. The ideas get planted and then will grow and unfold.   

2) What are the best magical ways to learn Physical skills and Physical Arts (ex: martial, painting, dance) by high & knowledgeable spirits of the zones knowing/teaching those arts, when the task performed is asking a lot of our bodies’ capacity? Some say Mediumship, or Incorporation, but might be the most physically draining of them all? And if that's true, how to offset such issues?

Ray: As soon as you get in touch with a specific field of interest, you get under the influence of the corresponding deity or spirit of the spheres. Now, you can get into your meditative state and call on the deity, asking for inspiration, guidance and help in unfolding the corresponding skills, powers and qualities. Just stay in your meditation, with an open, grateful attitude to receive the blessings and energies of the deity for around half an hour. The more often you do this, the more blessings and empowerment you can receive and with this you make faster progress in your field of interest. Even if you do not know the name of the fitting deity/spirit, you can simply call on the deity in a general way “deity of arts, I call on you…”. Mediumship is not necessary, just a good connection. 

3) There are innumerable things that spirits as expert teachers of the spheres can teach, that the magician himself would need to sort of 'reinvent the wheel' and waste decades to figure them out by himself. But to some skilled practitioners (in evocation and qbl), there seems to be a tendency of various positive entities to lie, mislead, or basically say: “why are you here, you already know how to do this", or only give truths to them that work in their plane of existence but not here on ours, which has led them by experience to believe nothing the various entities say until thoroughly vetted via terrestrial sources. Other skilled practitioners have never had a positive geni lie to them. Every time they have asked for information on techniques, or information they don’t have access to, the genii have been entirely accurate and not just in their plane of existence. Others have pointed that maybe the practitioner's intention, purpose of calling them, astral B&W mirrors/equilibrium maybe small white lies here and there in their daily lives, dealings in false shades of grey or self-justification, or an overall sense of irreverence towards spirits build by high achievements in the spheres and qbl, might (or not) have some-thing to do with the spirits non-clear cooperation.

Q: What is really happening, and how can those skilled practitioners that are misled/lied to, mend the cooperation with the entities of the spheres (Earth, Moon, Mercury, and on) so that they are always helpful with practical instructions functioning in our physical world as well?

Ray: Basically, it is the question if you meet the deities or if you meet some kind of being which cheats and pretends to be the deity. It is quite easy to meet lower, astral beings which are cheating you. The real deities are in the planetary spheres very high above and far away from the human world. They are of divine nature in divine place with divine atmosphere. And if you make it up to them, then it is a matter of your maturity and purity, and of your intentions if you get permission to meet them and if you get the answers you look for. Besides these aspects, the deities have their holistic vision and understanding and from this frame they choose how they answer you. They also must acknowledge your divine authority. If this is not given, then you have a problem respectively you are not respected. And the next point is that you must know exactly what you ask for. If you put the wrong question you cannot expect the deity to consider that you originally wanted to put a different question. Meeting deities is always a matter of being acknowledged as a divine authority, being initiated into the field of activity of the deity, receiving blessings and getting answers to your questions. These are gods and goddesses beyond human nature. They need a respectful, grateful and kind treatment. Besides this, it is also possible that the time for specific answers or desired solutions is not right respectively that the karma / fate frame does not allow an intervention by a deity. 

In conclusion, there are some aspects which can be checked if it is all fine or if there is something wrong. Own expectations do not necessarily be fulfilled. If cheating or lying is obvious then it was not the real deity or imagination played a role. The real deities in the spheres are honest.  

4) What to do or is needed as far as magical skills, or any other things, for the magicians who are University students in various STEM fields, and whose purpose is to upgrade those fields with new inventions that will uplift the suffering human race in order to have a much better health and quality of life on Earth, but without the act of unintentionally making a pact with the relevant positive beings of the spheres(Earth, Moon, Mercury, etc) that teach or inspire by various means such subjects? And if a formal pact, or subtle promise is unavoidable, how much and how far, does it affect the magician, can he be freed from it and how, always without the magician breaking any 'promises' on his art of the deal?

Ray: There is absolutely no need for any contracts or deals with real deities, the spirits of the spheres. You can get a lot from them without any ideas of balancing, paying back or making contracts. You are a representative of the Highest, a true Divine Authority, a true Servant of God, mankind and creation and for this reason it is natural that you get full support by the deities and all kinds of other beings in creation. The only limitation is in the degree of progress you are allowed to offer to humanity. For example, if you are a scientist then you might receive initiation into future technologies, but you are not allowed to implement them as the time is not right. 

In general, if any kind of being or “deity” is asking for deals and contracts then you can be sure that it is a cheater of lower realms or a negative spirit. Contracts are always bad, unhealthy and beneath the dignity of a real master. It is already an impudence for any being to ask a real master for a contract. Indeed, it says that the being does not respect you and this means a lack of authority. Breaking contracts does not work. The Lords of Karma are in charge and punishment will come. 

5) [I ran into this quote today: "A decade ago, Edward O. Wilson, the Harvard professor and renowned father of Sociobiology, was asked whether humans would be able to solve the crises that would confront them over the next 100 years. “Yes, if we are honest and smart,” he replied. “The real problem of humanity is the following: We have Paleolithic emotions, medieval institutions and godlike technology." Technology’s godlike powers have increased dramatically, while the ancient, Paleolithic impulses of our brains have remained the same"]

To me, the above translate as, lack of: Mental Telepathy: mind to mind connection, direct communication/understanding. Astral Empathy: heart to heart connection. The governing behind the scenes "powers that be" that direct, control and influence the social/economic/ideological/religious egregores. The catastrophic dangers and abuse of the union of technology and magic, like maybe in former earthly, and non-earthly civilizations. Ignorance of the spiritual worlds, and especially misunderstanding of the Karma and its consequences, are not just scary fabrications.

Ray: I agree with Edward Wilson. It is the dark age. After the dark age better times will come and a golden age can be expected. These are the great cycles of nature, of the night and day of mankind. 

Q) So, which knowledges, arts, resources, skills, siddhis, etc, might be needed, especially by magicians operating under the path of service, good to have for the (upcoming world so far of as it seems: robotic, A.I, VR, Big-Data, high-Tech, transhumanistic, bio-digitally controlled smart city life-caged human-batteries) future that seems the globalist powers that be, have pre planned quite some time ago with our continuing manufactured consent? I mean, what is the point of self-realization if our Physical world is destroyed or falls into a dystopia, right!? (not a loaded question, as all the above have been already suggested and pushed, in the open, shamelessly)

Ray: The point here is simply that life itself will always win and with this, the destructive, dark forces must fall. These are the wars of the Asuras, the kings of the material world, against the Suras, the Forces of Light. In the end, the Asuras are always defeated. Mankind or creation or this planet cannot die. Like all evil political movements with their dictators have fallen, they will do it in the future. It is an eternal principle that the Light is born from Darkness. But certainly, the earlier we understand what is going on and the earlier we become masters, the better it is.

6) Notes-keeping and your preferred, suitable, and even any issues, as far as Memory techniques for, archiving, structuring, categorizing: our vast experiences, associations, analogies, etc. Some build: astral temples, rituals, theatre plays, memory palace, mind-maps, what works best for you, since you have already written dozens of books, and articles?

Ray: I keep everything very simple. My approach is to understand how things work and then I do not need to check any notes or books, etc. but things just flow into my mind. We can say that I have a good connection to Akasha, and so ideas or information are well accessible for me. Besides this, memory techniques are certainly useful to train imagination, etc.

7) How to respond, or protect oneself, from a "black magician" who abuses akasha against you, so as to provoke your reaction and his forthcoming end, as the only thing hoping it will free him from his pacts with neg/demonic beings. (it's extremely rare, but still)

Ray: Black magicians often use astral beings to accomplish their goals. Black magicians and Akasha, the divine element of harmony are two poles which cannot fit together. Akasha would give salvation to the black magician, so that he would turn into a white magician. Akasha purifies, heals and balances everything in a merciless way. Darkness cannot survive in it. Normally it is enough to ignore a black magician. This means to not fight back. For protection, you could create a shield or a lightning conductor which conducts the energy attacks into the ground. You could also pray to the Lords of Karma for instant punishment for his evil deeds respectively you ask for justice.

8) When long-term working, accumulating, condensing all kinds of energies (from vital to more macro-cosmic) in/through the body, or dynamic pore-breathing exercises (in bones, etc.) tend to leave one feeling tensed up, or wired, even when pore-breathing all energies out, maybe because of the cosmic nature of many energies, to get acclimated to. Any suggestions of any kind of practices, to fully dissolve all sorts of leftover tensions and opening up the body, tendons, ligaments, so as to be opened and strong conduits, but to end up feeling energized, instead of wired, like with the dynamic & aggressive breathing?

Also, any suggestions of Physical practices and training for enhancing the practices of IIH & KTQ?

Ray: Every time you accumulate any kind of universal energy in you and release it, you have caused changes in your energy system. You simply cannot feel the same like before the exercise. The main problem is that the training room can become charged easily without noticing it directly. So, this means when you feel overcharged, then it is probably the case that your room is overcharged which has strong effects on you. When you let your room exhale, releasing the extra energies, you probably feel instantly better or “normal”. So, this would be the first thing which I do if I feel permanently overcharged. Besides this, “jumping into a cool swimming pool” brings direct relief as the extra energies are transferred into the water. If you have no swimming pool available, then you can put your feet into a tank with cool water and let the extra energies flow into it by will/imagination. And besides this, you can and should balance the energies in you with their opposite force to maintain balance and wellbeing. The earth element for grounding, strengthening and stabilizing is very nice and useful. We suffer in main from the electric-fiery energies. I would try first the earth element for balancing, then normal vital energy and then carefully water element or the magnetic fluid as here it could be that the fiery energies get fresh food. In general we need to strengthen the energy body with the earth element, the electromagnetic fluid to be able to bear the higher energies. Physical training helps to balance the energies as well.

9) How to approach teaching, or gradually initiating one's relatives (siblings, parents) without revealing them your practices and your actual spiritual beliefs. The things that come to mind atm, are maybe loading their room at night with some energies that may help their exteriorization of their mental, maybe astral body as well, when sleeping, so to at least as a start to believe that there is an after-life after all. Are there any practices or other things, to do for them so they get various initiations in their sleep, and upon waking up, it would be much easier to reveal oneself, eventually, but what do you suggest though?

Ray: Even if you have the best intentions, it is going against the free will and the individual development of your family members when you try to initiate them or raise their vibration. We can only offer knowledge or practical experiences as far as others are willing to receive. Besides this, we can pray for them in general and especially for healing, good health, divine inspiration, etc. 

Initiation must be a free decision. You can pick them up individually, offering them something what they understand, food for thoughts, but not much more. I know that this is disappointing but you cannot force people. Maybe watch nice movies or documentaries about spiritual topics and things like life after death, near-death-experiences and various psi-phenomena. It is easy and you can discuss things afterwards. Or go with them to special, spiritual places where they can feel the spiritual power and atmosphere. Guiding them gently to new experiences can be useful. 

10) Nibbana: Do any spirits of any of the spheres teach such subjects, or can briefly give a small taste of such an experience, since it must have come to their attention that many incarnated people from physical planet Earth attaining Nibbana (complete liberation from the cycle of reincarnation), and if yes, is it possible that such spirits knows and give a taste about it?

Ray: Nibbana or Moksha or however you want to call it is not that special. It is a state of enlightenment, of conscious freedom to do what you feel is right and in main it is about feeling no desires to incarnate again. There is nothing left for you to do or to experience in the material world, no bonds, no karma to balance, no interests, just freedom, peace, happiness, the state of perfection, completeness. So, you are free to do whatever you want respectively to follow the call for spiritual missions or to go and stay in the highest realms as an enlightened, self-realized being. Practically speaking, most return to teach or to fulfill other missions here on earth or in higher realms. 

 It is just the normal path of purification, training, refinement and accomplishment. There is no special initiation needed. You can find deities in the mercury sphere and in the sun sphere which are in charge of enlightenment. I have met the main deity in the sun sphere which offers all enlightenments in all various traditions on earth. Enlightenment is enlightenment, all in control of one main deity and initiator. 

11) Can one be taught by spirits, or other ways, to sense any signs, "disturbances in the force", negative or demonic entities gathering, sulphur or burnt flesh psychic smells, which-ever else, in the close environment that could mean a negative, destructive incident is going to happen soon somewhere there nearby, maybe of a terrorist or any other deadly attack. What to do besides leaving that place, environment asap, how can one react, protect, manage such situations, while leaving?

Ray: It is in general useful to get out of the resonance with such events by undergoing purification, healing and refinement. Further on, you can regularly pray for divine inspiration, guidance and protection. Then you will receive warnings. You can also create elementals which can warn you. Besides all, your intuition will let you feel that something is wrong and then you can escape. Warnings can come in many ways. Those who have eyes to see and ears to listen…..

12) Because of mistake, re-scheduling, not knowing better, which-ever, How to cancel or neutralize an electro-magnetic volt, or other quantities, that we magically sent in akasha, with a specific purpose ? (just an example: getting news or reappearance of a lost acquaintance -> cancel that)

Ray: You can create a corresponding volt or energy or elemental to cancel the first volt/energy if necessary. 

13) Bardon only mentions 24 Original beings of the EZ, And some appear to be an embodiment of their version of the whole earth zone. What is the role of the Originals, in comparison to the rest of the zodiac signs, and are there other Constellations beings and degrees, besides the usual 12 ones, and if yes, are their effects on us and the planes we are connected the same like the 12 ones?

Ray: In general, it is useful to differentiate between normal astrology and Bardon´s teachings. You can contact the deity which teaches astrology to get answers or to receive a high-quality initiation into astrology. In PME Bardon talks only about the most important spirits, so there are a lot more, great hierarchies of deities, astral beings, spirits of nature, etc.

14) How to cultivate: unshakable Conviction, and Faith, in our minds correctly, and that to reflect back onto the results?

Ray: It starts on a human level but really effective it becomes only when you have increased your level of personal power, of will, of authority and of belief. A master is a power plant with the divine levels of will, authority, faith, etc. However, already on the human level it makes a lot of sense to believe in yourself and to build up a strong will. If you question and doubt yourself, how should anything work out? Self-confidence and strength are the keys for success, for the successful realization of your wishes.

15) How can those people (maybe related somehow to the water elementals of nature) who were born with a nearly superhuman level of empathy, watery root chakra, and very refreshing, alluring and magnetic life-force auric and astral fields, can protect, shield, hide, themselves in their everyday life, from normal people of all genders who not knowing any better end up stalking them due to the "high fix" they get by being near them?

b) What people of both physical genders who were born with the above "configurations", and especially with a rare both watery: root & sacral chakras, that have very unusual high sex drives and sexual impulses can do ? (besides their usual burning it off on sex, and other such activities)

Ray: I know this problem from female friends which are so magnetic and watery and over sensitive that they are like sponges which attract all thought, emotions and bad energies from other people and their surroundings. This is very bad. The fire element needs to be developed to balance this too strong watery pole. Further on, the earth element needs to be strengthened to stabilize the personality and the whole microcosm. A strong, dense microcosm can no longer absorb all the various energies from people and surroundings. Here it can help already to wear bracelets made of (black tourmaline) crystals. They unfold a very nice densifying, grounding, strengthening, stabilizing and protecting effect on the person. Bracelets can be used at the ankles of the feet or / and at the hands. The crystals can be programmed to unfold a cleaning as well as strengthening and vitalizing effect. In general, the person needs to work on its element balance. More air, more fire and more earth element. If the person is polluted, then a bath with 1-2 kilos of sea salt is very useful for purification and vitalization.

16) Some hints on what needs to be done for remote healings from afar, and condensing the energies as dense as possible at the patient to an astral level I'm assuming, so as to have good healing results?

Ray: You can condense energies by normal accumulation breathing. It is already very good if you charge the patient with light several times, programming the light to support all healing processes. You can charge additionally with vital energy. Besides this, there are many possibilities to offer healing treatments.

17) Related to Bardon's way of astral separation and travel, provided one has a very strong will-power to make the necessary effort and therefore succeeds everytime, are there any ways or practices, to make it more friendly and easier to the practitioner, or will just have to get used to the unpleasant feelings of the whole procedure and when reinhabiting the physical body upon return?


Ray: You can support all traveling exercises with the use of Akasha or / and the air element. These energies help to make the bodies go loose. Then you can work easier with your will power or further techniques.

18) Working with the letters and the planetary energies is completely exhausting particularly in the beginning. Particularly with akasha. Besides consistent training and adaptation, is there anything else to help offset, or recover faster?

Ray: You can balance the work with higher energies by charging yourself from time to time with normal vital energy and also with the earth element which will strengthen your energy body and structure. We must make the energy body so strong that it can manage the higher tension of the powerful energies. Besides this, I just recommend discharging from time to time your training room.

SOFB: You can follow Rays's work at the following links:

Spiritual Master Coaching: https://www.nextsteptomastery.com/

Sura Academy: https://sura-academy.com/ 

Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/sura_united

Blog: http://sura-blog.raydelsole.com/ 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Ray-del-Sole-313904448717300/ 

Webinars: https://www.edudip.com/academy/sura.academy

 


 

Thank you for the interview and all the questions! 

In love, light and service,

Ray del Sole

If you have enjoyed this interview then please consider supporting us here.

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Thu, 11 Feb 2021 02:13:00 GMT //studentsoffranzbardon.com/blog/ray-del-sole-an-in-depth-interview-with-questions-from-the-students-of-franz-bardon-community
New Release! 360 Heads of the Earth Zone Volume I: Spring //studentsoffranzbardon.com/blog/new-release-360-heads-of-the-earth-zone-volume-i-spring I know a lot of people have been waiting for this book, the original was huge and just to expensive to produce so it could never be affodable. Well thankfully Tanya and Nenad had taken a different approach. Now it has been split into four volumes which a lot of additional material packed into each volume. So this I think is good for everyone, even more information about certain heads with a cheaper for accessible price. 

Get it now here.

To discover more and to hear the Authors interview  please see the follow video on the Falcon Books Youtue Channel.

 

 

 

 

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Sun, 10 Jan 2021 06:28:00 GMT //studentsoffranzbardon.com/blog/new-release-360-heads-of-the-earth-zone-volume-i-spring
Interview with Andre Consciencia - A deep look at the Franz Bardon System //studentsoffranzbardon.com/blog/interview-with-andre-consciencia-a-deep-look-at-the-franz-bardon-system SOFB: Thank you for joining us. Please provide us with a brief background as to how you began your Bardon training.

If you have enjoyed this interview then please consider supporting us here.

ANDRE: Thank you for the honor! I had been introduced to spiritism (in particular Allan Kardec and some spiritist centers from Portugal), theosophy (in particular Alice Bailey), some new age movements (in particular the Ascended Masters), to Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov and the Great White Brotherhood (not to be confused with the new age approach to ascended masters) and to a first deeper approach to hermeticism in particular through the works of Aleister Crowley and the Golden Dawn in general. I had also known the works of Papus and Eliphas Levi and had some knowledge of the basis of Martinism. I had studied The Mystical Qabalah by Dion Fortune very carefully, making many notes. I had run into all these things due to family issues regarding the so-called supernatural and mediumistic phenomena, and due to my own occurrences. I saw spooks since I could remember, colors in sounds emitted by people coming out from different parts of their bodies, had some memories I couldn’t figure out what they were, and was receiving esoteric information in dreams and later while wide awake. I couldn’t control or even begin to know what this all was, and I wanted to know, and to have control. It was a blinding need, not only in the sense of a survival urge, which it also was, but an exhilaration, a first feeling of returning home. Then a member from Fraternitas Hermetica, after hearing me speak on Crowley’s methods and, on the other side, on so-called ascended masters, sent me Initiation Into Hermetics by Franz Bardon. He said Bardon was much better, the appropriation of the ascended masters was mischievous and Crowley’s works could definitely go the wrong way. I didn’t take that very lightly, so I accepted the challenge of reading Bardon’s book to compare. 

After reading it, I immediately realized I had outstanding material in my hands, but I went to this person who had given me the book and told him “this is good, but it isn’t better”. I was still a minor, and had this defiant joviality in me. He didn’t argue his case, which I was expecting he would, and it kind of set me off my balance, like a Tai Chi move. During the night I began to argue with myself, a thing he hadn’t done, and I decided IIH was probably the best practical book I had gotten my hands on. The next day I decided to test this person, who later became my initiator. I told him “The only problem with this book is that it misses an essential point, it seems to focus more on the work of will-power than on love, yet, only love can balance and harmonize the four elements”. He told me he understood that I might choose to think so, but that in his opinion love can only be balanced by will, and that even to love we must first have the power to love. His logic was better, then I started practicing, and he caught me along the way.   

SOFB: As you have written some books and written extensive articles I shall keep my basic questions brief. 

Please explain your preferred approach to VOM and what you see as its ultimate benefit. 

ANDRE: Vacancy of Mind is the cornerstone of IIH. Some might say it is working with the soul mirror, which I can understand. But from my experience, those who can’t master vacancy of mind will always get poor results while working with the soul mirror. If one truly masters VOM, all that stands in the way of our belief and determination can simply be erased. Yes, if one is able to fix one’s thoughts on a single thought, things that might distract him from this thought stop distracting him. It means such distracting thoughts are not on the front panel of the mind nor are they allowed to come in there, so to speak. But with VOM, there are no front and back panels, you get the whole view, and when thoughts stop coming, that is when you truly know you have control over anything, or better put, over the mind. For instance, when one doubts, and asks while pore breathing “is this true vitality or just my imagination of true vitality?” one is losing vitality. If he removes this thought of doubt entirely, instead of simply not being distracted by it, he immediately starts to build true vitality. 

To highlight the importance of VOM, especially in its relation to the Soul Mirror, I like to remember the story of the Three Little Pigs. The big bad wolf is made visible by the black soul mirror, it starts to visibly peek around for its three little pigs, wanting to consume body, soul and mind. Sensations are very unstable, the pig of the body builds his house on them. Feelings are less unstable but still fragile, the pig of the soul builds its house with them. The pig of the mind doesn’t build his house on thoughts, mere mental imitations of sensations and feelings, automatisms, he builds his house on vacancy, the stuff of the mind. The big bad wolf of vice sweeps over the house of sensation, it all goes to ashes, but what lived inside sensations survives in the house of feelings. Then it is time for the bad wolf to test the house of feelings, and the soul (that was living in the house of feelings) and consciousness (that was living in the house of sensations and then in the house of feelings) survive in the purity of mind (whose quantity is the vacancy of mind). 

Sure, in the story, the big bad wolf doesn’t give up when he sees he can’t bring down the house of the mind, he tries to enter it from above, and that is when the fire of the spirit hits him.

I hope what I have told here can be understood. One can also bring his attention to the story of Hercules and the Hydra. Before beating Hydra, Hercules was just an heroic personality, he wasn’t yet a true initiate. Hydra is the beast of thoughts, Hercules cuts one and two grow back in its place. It is when Hercules lifts the Hydra from the floor that she loses power, and he is able to dominate her. This means to portray that thoughts are but reflections of feelings and sensations, separate the mind from feelings and sensations, and the mind will be silent. Instead of feelings you will find love, the unity of feelings. Instead of sensations, bliss, the unity of sensations. 

You can go about Bardon all you like, without VOM, it will all be useless in the end except for the personality and its stimulus. 

I have attained VOM through many different methods over time, as some students cannot seem to do it the way I first did it. The way I first did it was very simple, to forcefully expel all thoughts and persist, until only electrical impulses were left, and then stilling the electrical impulses. In the end, there would be void compressing and transbundant light, and once that dynamic state is achieved, it is the other way around, you have to use your will-power to come back. Once this was mastered, I started practicing VOM with my eyes open, and then even while going about my business and while having conversations. 

To many this first approach seems to be impossible, so, in my book the Way of Abrahadabra I use the greater capacity people apparently have of fixing their thoughts on a single subject or object. I start with simple thoughts and images, after which come complex images and thoughts, and then I begin to reduce the concepts that fit in the thoughts/images being used. Eventually, you are focusing on the thought and image of a single star in the void black sky. Then, you remove the star, and there is only vital vacancy. 

SOFB: Vital Force, some struggle with feeling like they are truly absorbing anything. How can people truly experience a difference in their vitality and health from this pore breathing. 

ANDRE: There are technical answers to this question, but I will use the opportunity to attack a bigger issue I see among students, for there is nothing essentially wrong with the technique exactly how Bardon puts it. A practitioner that intends to finish at least IIH must be prepared to truly believe the impossible. The question is, is he willing to? He is given the chance to do this very gradually, but still his commitment to the power of his mind must be whole all the while. Take hypnotism for instance, it only works on people who willingly give in to it, that is why Bardon so often writes “the magician will be able to convince himself”. He is not exactly talking about reason here. Now, many people fear believing what they thought was impossible because they associate it with the loss of reason and logic, with the loss of control. Nothing of the sort is requested at any time during IIH, on the contrary, reason is essential for the good judgement of how one chooses to use the limitless power of the mind, less the mind destroys itself in the blink of an eye. Power is force, but reason is its rider, and the rider must be sharp in his decisions. 

SOFB: Elements, similar to the VF people wonder if they are really getting the element or just an expression of the element. What can they do to meet the true element. 

ANDRE: I repeat the words above, but will now add another hint. Regarding the water and fire elements, Bardon talks of cold and heat, and that one can use a thermometer to test one’s success. Being able to physically raise the temperature or lower it is not essential for the effectiveness of the astral fluid, in most cases. The reason Bardon puts it there is, in my understanding, to make it easier for the magician to dissipate any doubts of his effectiveness, that is, to make him believe the power of his imagination, to make him believe the “impossible”, or better put, the possible after all. With vitality one can have the same kind of proof by studying if he is more vigorous in his day-to-day or if the sensation is but a fleeting one.  Regarding Earth (heavy) and Air (light), I have not tried this, but I suppose one can use a weight scale.

SOFB: Gesture training is not discussed too much. Do you have any insight you can share. 

ANDRE: Gesture training is a form of mnemonics attached to the movements of the body. A gesture attracts a thought, a feeling and a sensation, or is made to attract a particular thought, feeling and sensation by the magician. But more importantly, it is of a martial nature, it brings the thought, feeling and sensation of action into the previously chosen thought, feeling and sensation, so that they become active and, being active, act on their own. This is the power and might of ritual, while its virtue and quality, that defines its success, is also in what makes mnemonics work: harmony, beauty and universal law.

It is said that the rank of an adept can be seen in the perfection of the pentacles he devises, the same can be said about the creation of rituals and gesture sequences.

SOFB: Depth point perhaps one of my favorite areas, a massive stage for students moving from lower steps into some quite strange states of mind. What can you share about the depth point and its significance to our training. 

ANDRE: Here is the second cornerstone, while VOM is the first. If without VOM anything done by the magician is but for the self gratification of personality (no matter how much he arranges his soul mirror to appear pretty in its surface), the depth point allows the magician to go beyond individuality (not to be confused with personality). This is the first time he starts to connect with cosmic power. Even if he is just testing the depth point of an object, he is understanding outside himself, and his consciousness has known the powers of fertility for the first time. This is what brings to the adept his celestial nature. And it is why Bardon’s and most hermetic adepts search for the divine powers, while many magical traditions of satanism stick to self deification many times (although there are exceptions) without ever knowing anything beyond their own belly buttons (this is still true when practicing consciousness transference, for any self is the self). Such magicians will be able to create elementaries of elementals, cosmic beings and demons, but won’t be met by elementals, angels or even demons.  

SOFB Community

SOFB Community: What were your foundational tools and/or experiences that opened up your magical abilities and capacity?

ANDRE:  I am probably not the right person to answer this question. While many start this path to open up magical abilities and capacities, I started in order to control them. 

SOFB Community: How would you suggest one fine tune the harmony between their 3 bodies more?

ANDRE: Art. There is much more to it, but art! Different forms of art, and then art that utilizes them all. For instance, physical exercise is good for the body, it may or may not be called an art, but we are not there yet. Giving oneself to one’s emotions is good to know the soul and how it outlasts its objects of attention through feeling. Thinking about things in depth is good to know the crates and surfaces of the mind. Now, dancing is definitely art, it connects the body and the soul. Martial arts is, as the name implies, undoubtedly art, and it connects the body to the mind. Painting connects the mind to the soul. Writing connects all the four qualities of the intellect together. These are mere examples. Performance and theatre can require a lot of all three bodies, failure comes when the three don’t act harmoniously. An actor or performer must know what he is doing, the process of what he is doing (cognition), the sense (logic) and underlying intention (will), or he won’t even be able to memorize it properly (memory). According to his script, he must have the proper feeling inside (allowing feelings the same dynamism of the mind) and be able to create sensations out of this feeling, in order to transpose it, communicate to the audience and show something on the outside. If one of these elements fail, the show lacks the sublime.   

SOFB Community: How do you perceive shadow work and your tips/suggestions for healthy integration of one’s inner darkness?

ANDRE: A man that is whole is always able to communicate with an animal in a way that the animal understands, because he also understands the animal to start with. Because this man is whole, in a way, he is all. Even to such a man, there is use in integrating the shadows, for the harmonious region where he locates his consciousness, the center, is ever knowing, loving and penetrating the circle, and this is the sacred process of life.  Not all are ready to do the shadow work consciously, and that is why I consider one of the jobs of the artist to conduct this process in others in a manner that is safe, so that the others can do it through contemplation: when they notice it is about them, sublimation has taken place already. To people who have enough psychological stability to do the shadow work consciously, it is essential for the growth of the soul. When we are young we think the shadows are under the bed or inside the closet, when we are adults we know the monsters are mostly inside us, but if we remove all obstacles (inner beds and closets) and meet them in open fields, they stop being monsters and show the secret of frailty, and in frailty, the tender mystery of love and self love. 

As a mere example, I shall tell the story of a particular time when I evoked death. I was obsessed with this feeling of death around me and in my body, I started to have insomnia and anxiety because of it and I came to talk with a friend that is or was the head of René Guenon’s organization in Portugal. He told me to drink tea with death and engage in conversation. I did as he suggested, and death was actually very kind, wise and compassionate, she had the most peaceful and healthy counsels to give, and she had been warning me, through the senses, of things that I had been doing unwisely and that I had been unwilling to recognize. From there on, I slept better.

But to go back to how I started (to the animals) a good way to work with the shadows is finding them, understanding them (outer shape, inner shape, silence), moving to their own depth point and transforming them into animals. Then one can start taming them lovingly and they can help us with their power. Shamanism can be a good additional tool regarding this method.   

SOFB Community: It is common for some folk traditions to have practices surrounding the concept of ‘journeying’ in order to engage with spirits. Here I refer to those using drums or alike as trance induction methods, not entheogens. How would you relate those in regards to mental wandering as a way to engage with spirits as provided by Bardon? And why do you feel that engaging with spirits is not as much as a taboo for those traditions in comparison to those following Bardon system.

ANDRE: This is a merry topic of which I often think. It is important to note that hermeticism and shamanism are often opposite paths, not in their purpose, but in their approach. While hermeticism acts consciously in every step, and moves the conscious to conquer the unconscious, shamanism works the other way around: it seeks to tap into the subconscious and to integrate it into consciousness. The works are done in a semi conscious state, and the more they are done this way, the more the shaman is a genuine shaman. Mental wandering in shamanism is witnessed, and the shaman controls the journey through intentions he has previously established. He actualizes his acts mostly through the memory of instinct in the spirit, and the less reason interferes, the purer the outcome. Mental wandering in Bardon is of a conscious dynamic, the magician moves by will and reason. 

I do not feel that engaging with spirits is a taboo among Bardon magicians, but for some reason it has almost always become a taboo among less tribal and larger civilizations. In those, in which hermeticism spams, men are not used to seeing the world through the lens of animism. They may find special spirits to represent certain principles, or that special things have spirits attached, but in shamanic cultures, literally everything is or has a spirit, and everything is equally special.

SOFB Community: From the different methods to engage with spirits provided by Bardon (e.g., mental wandering, evocation), which one you had most success with? And which one would you see as the most achievable for students coming into PME?

ANDRE: I had success with both. If by most achievable you mean easier, mental wandering is generally easier, and also a necessity for proper first time evocations. In any case, the magician should not stick with a single method, they are not two ways to reach the same. Evocation can achieve certain things mental wandering cannot, and vice-versa.

SOFB Community: The process of making consecrated tools is always a hot topic in grimoire based traditions. Some claim that every step should be followed to the letter while others are flexible to the point of skipping most of the tools. What’s your approach in regards to the preparation and consecration of magical tools when working with PME?

ANDRE: I remember an occasion when the chamber where Bardon used to work became inaccessible for some reason. During this time, Bardon practiced on his bed silently, with his wife on his side sleeping, one hour before she would wake up. This is an example he gave to his direct students. The important thing is to do the work, and to do it as we can and with what we can. That being said, if there is the possibility, when working with PME, work according to the instructions in PME, for it will maximize the performance. A little bit of the creative genius of the magician should be put into it, I remember Aleister Crowley speaking of carving different wands as the practice of creating, molding and giving life and realization to different dreams. 

As an example of personal touch, I have a whip made of two wands (the handle) and a thin rope (binding the wands together) that cuts the air with an hiss when the wands are projected forward. The rope is the light of absolute victory, one wand controls the four elements, and the other the seven planets.   

SOFB Community: When working with spirits, do you have a favorite method to keep yourself in check from self-delusions?

ANDRE: Yes, but it is not present in Bardon’s teachings. One must find that part of the astral light that personifies the subconscious of the magician, or the astral light that is being animated by the soul of the magician. By other words, it is simple astral light, in connection with the subtle channels of the magician (being observed by him and moving and expressing itself therefore). The magician must know this “plasmification” very well, in all ways possible, and make it obedient to him, so as not to have it interfere actively in his coming communications, in which it has to become a simple vehicle to original intelligence. When the magician dominates this intermediary, he will probably notice that many of his first acquaintances in the invisible world were different shapes the intermediary was taking. 

SOFB Community: With the numerous books, esoteric schools, traditions and religions, how to keep a consistent practice and not become an armchair magician?

ANDRE: There is no such thing as an armchair magician, a magician either is a magician or he isn’t. One who studies magic instead of practicing it is simply a student or a theorist, but the magician, studying in his armchair or writing, is still a magician. There are many schools, traditions and religions, but how can they undermine consistent practice? Hermeticism was built upon this variety itself, it is the work of intelligence. I’m sure variety is no excuse, on the contrary.

SOFB Community: Correct practice of Prayer in our hermetic practices. In the normal use from most people, doesn't it imply that one is weak, and have a lack of what he's asking for, and is asking for a favour, or, begging for the end result ? From what state of awareness are we asking, and from where, and how receive the answer?

ANDRE: Who is “we”? There are so many different kinds of people. What is the “normal use”? Is lacking something being weak? Is asking for a favour always a bad decision? Whoever made this question, and those who identify with it, should answer the question posed: “from what state of awareness am I asking?” Now, remember, the waves in the sea are praying, the winds in the air are praying, the birds are praying, the lion is praying, the poets are praying, and they are all going beyond themselves.  

SOFB Community: Tips or hints, on your prefered, or suitable to our practices, memory techniques for, archiving, structuring, categorizing our vast experiences, associations, analogies, data-bases. Ever used, Memory palace, Mind Maps, others ?

ANDRE: Yes I have. These are the foundations for building pentacles, so, in addition to them and according to them, build pentacles, build prayers, build astral temples, build rituals, build theatre plays and performances. Engage with them beyond the mind.

SOFB Community: What needs to be done to materialize our received visual and auditory impressions (images - sounds, melodies etc) projected outwardly outside of ourselves, condensed into physical visibility (even to others non-clairvoyant people), so as to record those images & sounds, with cameras, and audio-recorders (or any other means). All that without using our own voice, body, musical instruments, or softwares, to recreate them, meaning, without any further physical labour like painting, sculpting, music production etc. (Bardons mentions some things about lenses, but wondering if current digital ones can capture an outwardly projected visibly condensed image, wonder the same with the sounds)

ANDRE: About the right camera filters and fluid condensers, etc, I would go to the gnomes for information. Beyond that, I’m not really in the position to tell with great precision: if your work is intense it will probably be captured. I found that it helps when you are group-working with other capable magicians. At some point you will attune and start seeing exactly the same phenomena, it is a form of trance where the group seems to be on the physical plane still but that the physical plane has jumped to the astral plane. At this moment the cameras will find many anomalies, and cellphones will usually not work for a while, sometimes weeks (when they make it at all) after the magical ceremony. Well, that is according to my experience and that of my former group, years ago. 

SOFB Community: Mediumship (with spirits, deities, etc), for learning: Physical skills, martial art, seems to be the best way, but the most physically draining of them all. If it's true, why is that a (high & capable) spirit commanding our bodies, is more depleting than us, that is our minds, commanding them ? Ways to offset any mediumship issues so as to handle them with the same energy expenditure as doing it yourself ?

ANDRE: First of all, high and capable spirits commanding our bodies will rarely leave it depleted, unless the task they are performing is asking a lot of our bodies’ capacity. When this is not the case, you will be refilled, vital, healed and refreshed after they leave. This is not because it is less draining having a new spirit in our body, with all the adaptations the body will undergo, than not, instead, it is because the spirit is high and capable enough to do us this gentleness. 

About the last part of the question, channeling is always less demanding than incorporating. You are directly moved by the beings’ inspiration, but your mind and soul are still in your body.

SOFB Community: How to go about the process of imbuing a quantity (vital, fluids, etc), with our intention, purpose, ideation? Do we condense firstly the quantity and then put the ideation, inside as a sort of seed, maybe outside surrounding it, other? Do we imagine the final result of our ideation, as a still image, or as a moving gif-image (would certain results need the gif?).

ANDRE: When working physically, like using fire to burn a paper, burying a potato, as Bardon teaches on low magic, or for the creation of golems, the method uses quantity impregnated by quality. The astral volt uses electric fluid first and then the magnetic fluid, and it builds the quantity upon the quality. Both ways work. Use the perfect still image together with the perfect moving image, according to the principle of the rose and the cross.  

SOFB Community: Does the intention, purpose, ideation, part, always has to have a visual sort of image, or other sensory gates and modalitites can be also utilized, like inner mind chatter, others?

EX: For beginners, how to go about and recreate those feelings (that sound bit abstract, unfamiliar), that you had mentioned in an article of: "high cognition, good memory, fertility, feeling of purification, etc", so as to imbue them?

ANDRE: For the first part: use all you can, the visualization is the creation of a complete world in a complete moment. For the second part, if someone has not a keen mind for the abstract, let him study more magic and philosophy first, and read poetry. The abstract must stop being unfamiliar.   

SOFB Community: Do we imagine them as visual images and states of ourselves, and then emotionally engage in those imagined states, so to create those feelings?

ANDRE: You must search what works for you. Be creative and explore as much as you can. Many different approaches work. For instance, if you are more visual the way you put it is fine, but if you are more sensitive, you engage emotionally and it will give you the visual input. The ideal is to have equilibrium, and to be highly sensitive and highly visual, so that the visual and the feeling don’t come one after the other, but simultaneously.

SOFB Community: How to cultivate unshakable conviction, and faith, in our minds, correctly, asap?

Do they have to do with the accumulation of always successful - repetitions. Other ?

ANDRE: To hurry breeds imperfection. Being always successful doesn’t help faith and conviction, because it isn’t success at all. Success grows against failure and it requires stamina and perseverance. Being successful enough times to know one can succeed is good for conviction, it gives a certain level of positive certainty to reason and judgement, but faith is another game, it is a state of trance that dispenses all limitations, their conceptions and their judgement.  

SOFB Community: Trulkhor, Tummo, Inner heat yogas, the subtle channels and the vital energies. Do those practices hold any overall value, and do we have equivalent practices in hermetics, if to substitute for?

ANDRE: Before writing Initiation Into Hermetics, Franz Bardon translated Book Four (Liber ABA) by Aleister Crowley into Czech. I suggest the reading of this book (in whatever language), it will make it clear that many foundational exercises by Bardon are based on different forms of Yoga. 

SOFB Community: Can one safely pore-breathe(inhale-exhale) vital energy in industrial, IT, and tech environments, with dozens of WiFi, RF, EMF fields, static electricity. What can one do in such places to protect his health ? (besides finding a better job, hah)

ANDRE: If someone can breathe there by normal means, he will be able to breathe there consciously. We are always pore-breathing anyway, just not always consciously. The material air is not the idea that we are breathing consciously, and it won’t undermine our work. Bardon writes:

“The electrical as well as the magnetical fluid in the human body have nothing to do with the

kind of electricity or magnetism we know, although a certain analogy exists.” 

He adds: “By normal or unconscious breathing, the body is supplied only with as much elemental substance as is necessary for its normal preservation. Here also the supply depends on the consumption of elemental substance. It is quite different with conscious breathing. If we put a thought, an idea or an image, no matter whether it is concrete or abstract, in the air

to be inhaled, it will take in the akasa principle of the air concerned and convey it through the

electric and magnetic fluids to the air substance. This impregnated air will play a double role

when it is conveyed to the lungs through the blood vessels. In the first place, the material

parts of the elements are destined to preserve the body; secondly, the electromagnetic fluid,

charged with the idea or the image, will lead the electromagnetic air colored with the idea

from the bloodstream through the astral matrix to the astral body, and from there to the

immortal spirit through the reflective mental matrix.”

And… “Consequently it is quite evident that it is not the quantity of inhaled air that matters, but the quality respecting the idea impregnating the air substance.” Therefore, if we are talking about Bardon, I have no need to elaborate on something he has made clear, and I may use his own words. Nevertheless, if doubt prevails, I suggest the reading of The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, Volume I, freely available at:

https://en.m.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Complete_Works_of_Swami_Vivekananda/Volume_1/Raja-Yoga

SOFB Community: Related to Bardon's way of astral separation and travel, are there any ways or practices, to make it more friendly and easier to the practitioner, or will just have to get used to the feelings when reinhabiting the physical body upon return?

ANDRE: Better than achieving the result, is cultivating the will-power to make the necessary effort.

SOFB Community: Any-thing useful, or unknown, about:

achieve synesthesia , pareidolia, animating pictures.

ANDRE: I do not have the knowledge of all that is known, much less unknown, but I know a practicing magician will find it very easy to practice Synesthesia and, in Bardon’s tradition, the Key to True Quaballah draws on it a lot (not in the sense the usual word implies, that of an involuntary hallucination, but on the conscious fabrication of analogies in the sensory organs of perception). Good instructions are given there.  

Pareidolia is a natural phenomena, any child or adult can see shapes in clouds and rocks that go beyond clouds and rocks, and our brain, in reality, does it all the time with whatever object, whether we notice it or not. The brain is an organ of association. 

In “The Path of Ipsos Vol I” I write on the subject of pareidolia, taking it to sacred heights:

“The magician is to perceive in everything that non-thing that is endlessly sacrificing itself in order for something to manifest. It can be perceived through its dance. The magician is to stop relating to things, all his deals being with the non thing. From this powerful place of dance and black smoke comes the power of the magician as a shaman. This is his chalice, empty and overflowing.” 

“When the magician becomes well acquainted with this force it will start to crystallize as non-linearity, or randomness. This means that the magician will understand how between one step and another the large unknown steps in, just as between any two persons, mathematically, every other person can interfere. It is from this state of affairs that the magician will recognize patterns, they have no logic to start with, but they transmit beauty, and therefore they are his first songs of power. Yes, he will start to understand how most of the things in the world have systems of non-linearity, meaning that most of the patterns are shaped by randomness, and it is in this recognizable chaos that beauty lies and, with it, power. What makes the magician capable of grasping true chaos with his ordered brain is the whole being greater than the sum of its parts.”

“When the magician shifts his focus more and more into this greater whole, he finally perceives the web that connects any thing to any other thing on Earth, including the stars. The spiral which this web shapes evokes time, but the web itself is outside of time and in a non-ordinary reality. It is outside the circles of time that the magician, as a shaman, is able to contact the spirits.”

“It is the random beauty on the outlined patterns of caves, seas, jungles, forests and deserts that make them places of power, places where the non-thing may be recognized in his dance. This concrete form of chaos is named by shamans the lower world. But there is also the non-linear play of light and darkness, of vapours and clouds and the wilderness of crystals, this vague form of chaos is said by shamans to be the upper world. Both have their animistic spirits and the magician is to explore them. The Middle World, where we stand in our ordinary reality, is the place where time goes back and forth and to where things fall from the upper or the lower world when they get lost.”

Finally, on animating pictures, a whole book could be written, yet I am giving this interview for students and practitioners of Bardon’s works. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that author’s indications on the subject. Work, get there, then do it. If you have done all that is asked of you, you will succeed. 

If you have enjoyed this interview then please consider supporting us here.

SOFB: Many thanks for a wonderful interview and for being so generous in your sharing.  Visit his Facebook page here.

Photo Credit: 
Image by Stefan Keller from Pixabay

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Sat, 28 Nov 2020 06:27:00 GMT //studentsoffranzbardon.com/blog/interview-with-andre-consciencia-a-deep-look-at-the-franz-bardon-system
Sifu Mark Rasmus: New Book Release and Online Training //studentsoffranzbardon.com/blog/sifu-mark-rasmus-new-book-release-and-online-training Hello I am sure you may have heard about Sifu Mark Rasmus's new book 'Backdoor Into Hermetics'.

I wanted to do a quick post on it as I think this may well be a massive turning point in many peoples training which in turn can have a massive effect on the community with so many more people managing to reach the higher steps and move onto the later book. 

I think this is one book dare I say all Bardonists could benefit from as even if you are advanced and require no outside assistance (After step  4 I see no reason why people may need outside help as the foundation has been laid.), the different apporoaches and ideas presented in the book give you entirely new ways to utilise the skills you have built up.

The proof is in the pudding with many students who have visited Sifu Mark over the years in Thailand or learned from him on his seminar tours now making their own original breakthroughs in the work and having their own unique experiences with the beings of the ZGE. I think the success of his students is a testament to the teachings and his approach. It really does work and really does assist you in breaking throughs areas you may well have been stuck on for long periods of time. 

My own story is very similar to this after being told by so called 'Masters' that my difficulty with visualisation was astrological in nature and that I would never be able to do it to the standard required! I swiftly left that group and went out on my own, then finding and communicating with Sifu Mark until I eventually went out to study with him in 2012.

In the space of days my ability to do certain exercises completely transformed thanks to a change of perspective and incremental approach. So now fast forward to 2020 and we have his new book which is full to the brim of information as well as the online training via Vimeo where you can follow his approach to Tai Chi, his Elastic Force Method or his channel that is devoted to going through Initiation into Hermetics. What you can access now via the book or vimeo previously required a big investment of time and money so I think right now is the time to dive in and get tiwhile you can. Who knows what the future brings. 

If you would like to view the trailer for the Initiation Into Hermetics channel please see below:

If you would like to check out his book on Amazon please click here.

Lastly I am really no fan of Masters or Gurus, but that is one key reason why I like and appreciate Sifu Mark, he focuses solely on making sure you get and understnad the material, then once you have it he gives as much as possible to you in the remaining time. Super generous! So the least I can do is return the favor with a blog post. 

Initiation into Hermetics with Mark Rasmus from Mark Rasmus on Vimeo.

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Wed, 14 Oct 2020 07:48:00 GMT //studentsoffranzbardon.com/blog/sifu-mark-rasmus-new-book-release-and-online-training
An Interview with Daniel Ingram: Author of Mastering the Core Teachings of the Buddha //studentsoffranzbardon.com/blog/an-interview-with-daniel-ingram-author-of-mastering-the-core-teachings-of-the-buddha I am excited to introduce this interview with Daniel Ingram, author of the very well known book Mastering the Core Teachings of the Buddha, he is also active and shares a lot of information over at the Dharma Overground as well as a personal blog, with older, free versions of his awesome book available. If this interview has piqued your interest then there are some real treats for you with lots of podcast appearances here.

If you would like to purchase Daniels updated book while  also supporting us then please use this link.

SOFB: Welcome to the blog and thank you for taking part. Could we begin by introducing yourself and how you began this path from there we will move into more specifics. 

Daniel: I am a retired emergency medicine physician in the US with a background in public health/infectious disease epidemiology, as well as extensive meditation retreat experience, mostly Theravada Buddhism (have done over a year on retreat in various bits and pieces), author of Mastering the Core Teachings of the Buddha (www.mctb.org), co-founder of www.firekasina.org, and magical practitioner since mid 1990’s, often augmented by intense Buddhist meditation practices and states. I got into this path through various childhood experiences, all explained in the last part of www.mctb.org.

SOFB: As this blog is coming from the perspective of Franz Bardons Hermetics I would like to discuss one of our early exercises. Called Vacancy of Mind we need to hold the mind free of thought for 5 minutes and eventually ideally 30  minutes. This is often the first obstacle for people as not many tools are given to get to his point, there are 3 preceding exercises 1) Observing the contents of the mind 2) Focusing on one train of thought and 3) Remaining Conscious during the day. 

Now I believe the day is often the key in remaining aware, but  after hearing your story and reading your book I saw that you decided to capture 100% of sensation from the sense gates and this became a turning point. So could you comment on firstly what you believe the requirements are to gain the still mind and secondly the significance of capturing every sense from the sense gates. 

Daniel: Ok, the first point is one has to be very careful about what one means by “thought”, which, from a technical Buddhist point of view, contains lots of different types of sensations, such as:

  • intentions (even the intention to direct or hold intention, and these occur before all actions, even thinking),
  • mental impressions (which occur after all types of sensations as a very rapid mental echo that is what can then be remembered and processed by further thoughts, as well as contributing to the sense of the observer/controller),
  • “binding sensations”, which are these very rapid, quick sensations that through a mix of memory, anticipation, recognition, familiarity, background framing sensations, and the like give a sense of continuity to experience,
  • Subtle evaluative analysis and comprehension, that sense of recognizing and monitoring what is going on (which would be ironically required for most ordinary forms of noticing that one’s “thoughts” were reduced or absent)
  • The complex interwoven sensations that make up parts of emotions, and, of course,
  • The ordinary thought stream involves primarily a sort of linear verbal narrative and visual images  that most people think of as “thinking”, which is probably what is meant here.

This is not even the complete list, but it gives one a sense of what one is up against if one truly wants to eliminate all forms of “thought”.

To dramatically reduce the volume of the linear thought stream is clearly difficult but doable with what Buddhists would call “jhanas” which can be taken to a vast range of depths and come in 4/8 basic flavors, see www.mctb.org Part III for more information on this. This is typically way easier on retreat for those doing high-dose practice, typically becoming more accessible after somewhere around 100 hours done over 8-11 days, that sort of dose. These skills, for many, fade rapidly when one goes off retreat, but, for those who are diligent and have the other requisite levels of mental and psychological stability, can at least give one a taste of what is possible.

To truly shut off all thought in the strict formal Buddhist sense requires attaining to either an extended Fruition with duration, something hard to do and requiring at least the first stage of awakening, or to attain to something vastly harder, that very rare attainment called Nirodha Samapatti, only attainable by highly awakened beings with access to the formless realms and again explained in detail in www.mctb.org. These are both high attainments and not likely what FB was talking about. If one is interested in practices that may lead to magical experiences and increased degrees of mental quiet and stillness, I recommend high-dose fire kasina practice, again with lots of free information found at www.firekasina.org. In particular, check out the Tower of Hallbar retreat from 2015.

SOFB: Do you feel that these states of stillness follow the same process due to the one constant that is us and our biology, or do you feel that specific methods from different traditions  can possibly take you down differing side roads which though we may think we have reached x state we have not.

Daniel: The debates about how various traditions do or do not attain the same states and how many truly different roads there are is endless and will not likely be resolved until we have vastly better neuroimaging technology and a wide range of deep practitioners willing to be imaged by it. The mind is truly very complex, and the range of experiences that various practitioners can get into, even on, say, the same retreat with the same techniques and the same instructions, is vast. Also, misdiagnosis by one’s self and sometimes skilled teachers is common and par for the course. What one person vs another means by, say, “stillness”, or “rapture”, or “concentration”, can vary widely. It is a serious problem when trying to sort this out, typically requiring long, careful conversations and observing people over many days, weeks, or months to get a sense of how their practice unfolds and how they language their attainments and experiences. That said, I do think that the jhanas, properly understood in their still wide range of possible manifestations and forms, can provide a useful framework for understanding the possible degrees of mental stillness, stability, and concentration. Again, you can find a long set of descriptions of this topic in www.mctb.org for free.

SOFB: What is your opinion of things like Kechari mudra that seems to be a symptom of the rising of bliss which strangely  starts to make the tongue naturally reach towards and eventually into the nasal passage? As the bliss is according to traditional thinking, the cause, whereas in Buddha's path through the jhannas this bliss may be a magnet into the next Jhanna?

Daniel: I personally haven’t done extended Kechari Mudra practice so should be careful here in speaking beyond my core areas of knowledge and experience. I personally can’t insert my tongue into my posterior nasopharynx. I have had had many powerfully blissful experience in meditation yet never had my tongue do that. Bliss in jhana in Buddhism is initially a draw to the lower jhanas, but then it also becomes something we may become dispassionate towards, leading to the higher jhanas, which are characterized first by subtle bliss, then by a superior neutrality which is better than bliss in the fourth jhana, and eventually by formless realms which are lacking in any obvious bodily feeling tone, as the perception of the body is gone by that point.

SOFB: From reading some of your other interviews I see that you have said that Vajrayana is a big part of what you do, though perhaps you are (most known?) for bringing clarity to the process of entering the Jhannas and helping people make sense of the journey. How significant do you see the Vajrayana and dzogchen teachings when compared to other vehicles of buddhism? Do they deserve their reputation of being skillful means? 

Daniel: Vajrayana is a very complex topic with many aspects, practices, traditions, and attitudes. I have practiced with much more of a Vajrayana attitude than I have done some of the very specific practices, though I have definitely done a number, though I never had a formal Vajrayana guru, for example, which some would consider an essential component of the Vajrayana path, though I have received some Vajrayana empowerments from some qualified to give them. The skillfulness of the Vajrayana is a huge topic, and it is definitely one of the higher-stakes ways to play the game. It has deservedly earned a bad reputation recently due to scandal after scandal, abuse after abuse, so, if you go into the Vajrayana, realize that there is a lot of that around, and keep your wits about you. That said, there is some great tech in it as well and really good people and teachers also, so don’t throw the baby out with the narcissistic psychopaths, I mean bathwater. I particularly appreciate its emphasis on embracing and working with the full emotional range skillfully, as articulated in books such as Journey Without Goal, by Chögyam Trungpa, particularly the section on the Five Buddha Families, as a great example of what I mean.

Dzogchen is also a vast topic, but books such as Clarifying the Natural State, and related topics such as Sutta Mahamudra and Essence Mahamudra, are all very worthy of study. I routinely joke that Dzogchen and Mahamudra are remedial practices given to those who didn’t understand the profundity of Three Characteristics teachings of the Theravada, but that is not entirely fair, as they do add concepts and language that can help some people understand those topics more skillfully who didn’t understand them in some other presentation as well.

SOFB: You have provided very clear information in your book which has helped many start to have real experience with the Jhannas. So do you feel in this modern age that a teacher is a necessary part of the journey to enlightenment? Or is this something that if we have the correct information for practice that it is more a matter of just doing it and the results will come?

Daniel: I definitely know people who woke up without having any sort of a formal teacher, and the problem these days is the reverse of what I came up with, that being that there is so much good information around it is easy to get lost in it. Like simple practices and simple frameworks done really well, so that is my general advice. If you need a teacher to help you follow very simple instructions and do very simple things well, ok, well, such is your karma. It is definitely true that good teachers can sometimes see obvious imbalances that you somehow couldn’t see. If you are looking for a teacher, definitely seek someone that is low on exploitation and high on personal empowerment, asking you to see for yourself and do the experiment for yourself, to make the practice 95% about the practice itself showing you directly and maybe 5% about study and the words of any teacher. Most people simply don’t get the dose high enough and expect a teacher to compensate for that. It would be like only taking your medicine you were supposed to take every day once a week instead, and then asking the doctor who prescribed it to answer lots of questions about the medicine to you to make up for the difference in effectiveness.

SOFB: Similar to the previous questions, the fruit of Dzogchen is supposed to be the Jalu - Rainbow Body, of which there have been practitioners in recent years who seemingly shrank and the bodies did not follow the expected pattern at death. I am interested in your opinion of this phenomena as both an accomplished meditator and a medical doctor. 

Daniel: I have seen lots of weird things in my life, but have no personal experience with the rainbow body. I know people who claim to have seen it. I am not sure what to make of this. I keep an open mind about things I don’t yet have experience with. Bigger question: how will the question of the rainbow body impact your practice here and now today? I have had no direct experience with it and no definite opinion on it and yet my practice has somehow been extremely powerful and satisfying despite this lack. Still, I can see how achieving it might inspire others who were very into rainbows to practice well.

SOFB: Following on from looking at these subjects from a modern scientific perspective. What have you learned from using EEG machines in practice? Can they reveal much about the process of enlightenment?

Daniel: The science of EEGs and enlightenment is still in its infancy. I am just starting to get preliminary analyses of some meditation runs I have done on and off retreat with my Cognionics Quick-20R dry EEG machine, and it is very interesting but too early to say much. Numerous attempts have been made to correlate EEG and meditation, and much of it is probably not great science. We will attempt to improve on this with study using EEG, MEG and fMRI at Harvard with data analysis by a neuroscience team at Oxford and the University of Utrecht. Until then, not much to say, as the results are not in. It is clearly a promising technology, particularly as its temporal resolution vastly exceeds fMRI, and should hopefully allow the precise micro-phenomenology for which the high end of the Theravada practice world is well-known to have some practical utility, but the jury is still out.

SOFB: You mention many models of practice in your book MTCB2 energetic, non dual etc. But I would like to ask about the actual process of ‘change’ from what we were to this enlightened state. Do you see it as a biological process rooted in the nervous system? Or is it something outside of the body?

Daniel: Clearly, there is some connection between the “brain” we perceive as being in our heads and aspects of consciousness, as anyone who has ever had or given someone else anesthesia knows. However, I personally maintain a strict ontological agnosticism regarding models of what is “truly going on” and only adopt ontological frames if there is some clear practical use case for them, as they help solve some practical problem, and even then hold them extremely lightly. Clearly, there is enough data to know that there appear to be differences between, say, advanced meditators and non-advanced meditators in terms of their ability to, for example, hold their PCC (posterior cingulate) either activated or deactivated as measured by an fMRI. I have taken part in these studies at Yale and U Mass and soon, coronavirus permitting, to take part in them at Brown University, and can tell you that it is possible to correlate certain focuses of attention to various brain structures. That said, this is all related to temporary states, and we have essentially no data on “enlightenment” in these contexts, so I can’t say more at this point. What is the practical use case?

SOFB: The 4 Elements are used as the foundation of everything we do in Franz Bardon's first book. I am interested to hear more about the Kasina practice with the elements, you have written extensively on the effects of the fire kasina but could you share a little about your experience with other elements also? You mentioned this briefly in one of your journals.

Daniel: Ok, yes. I can definitely tell you the following:

Doing fire kasina practice gave me an appreciation not only of the fire element but also of the other three (or really 5 if you count space and consciousness, as the Buddhists sometimes would).

It increased the sense not only of what they were at the ordinary level but also at the magical level, such as beginning to experience them as conscious entities, with their own sometimes interactive divinities, with their own realms that I have visited, with their own magical meanings. This was an organic process that is hard to explain, and it appears to have simply resulted from just doing very simple practices in high doses.

I get much more cold tolerant and sometimes unnaturally hot when I do fire kasina practices for long enough. For example, when I first went to the Tower of Hallbar retreat, in February in Scotland in a poorly-heated, damp, heavy stone defensive tower, when I first got there I was all bundled up in fleece and heavy socks, but, within about a week, I was talking around barefoot in a t-shirt and sweatpants and still feeling to hot.

Elemental balance is important, which can be as simple as taking baths when doing fire kasina, putting your hands in a cold stream, taking the air element as a focus of practice at times, walking on the earth, particularly barefoot, etc. This initially seems insane, yet, if you don’t do it, things can get rapidly out of hand when doing one element practice, and, if you do do it, things suddenly start to rebalance and work better, so, if you do elemental practice, keep this in mind. My best fire kasina retreat was actually at a largely deserted beach where I also spent time gazing out at space, sitting on the sand taking it as objects, and playing in the water and just watching the waves as object.

Reverence and prayers and the like to elemental deities are a good idea if you want to go deeper into the possible effects, but just remember what the elements are about and don’t expect them to be otherwise.

Questions from the community - I have not edited or changed these

SOFB:  Does he believe the attainments required by the mastery of spirit exercises in step 1 i.e. mastery of thoughts, can only be achieved by long years dedicated to shamatha meditation? I.e. complete vacancy of mind for ten unbroken minutes.


Daniel: See above, as it is answered there. Still, one can get into some very powerful magical states and effects and still have some subtle aspects of thought operating.

SOFB: what methods of soul purification do you use to attain astral equilibrium so you can practice at a higher level?

Daniel: Wow. That’s a really complex topic. The first thing that comes to mind is that most people don’t practice basic morality training (sila in Pali) all that well, and so those habits then infect their formal meditation and magical practice. If you are angry a lot, having lots of guilt, regret, desire, etc. all day long, then these habits will naturally carry over into your other practices. So, if you want to have good meditation practice sessions, build good habits the rest of the day. Take care of business and yourself. Forgive whenever possible without being a doormat.

Have your daily To Do list taken care of, or at least made, before you start to practice, so that your mind isn’t burdened with those issues then. Don’t expect magical experiences and meditation to fix most of your real world problems, and be sure you have a real-world plan that you actively and realistically work to implement instead, as this will let the other parts of your mind rest assured that they can relax. It is typically the boring, painful, ordinary, tedious basics that people want to try to transcend through elaborate rituals and fancy concepts, but in this they often go astray. Do the boring, tedious, embarrassing, ordinary stuff that needs to be done. Have that painful conversation you have been needing to have. Make sure your room and work spaces are clean. Listen to those nagging feelings that tell you that you are on the wrong track or avoiding something and change direction instead of looking for some fancy magical solution to solve your problems. Be sure your real-world actions align with your higher ideals, as conflict therein is meditation poison. In short, get your ordinary shit together first.

I also do a lot of brahma vihara practices, and it is important to do all four of them. Check out Sharon Salzberg’s Loving-kindness, the Revolutionary Art of Happiness.  I also like the book You Are A Badass, by Jen Sincero. If you chronically appear to sabotage your life, check out Scripts and Drivers in the book TA Today, by Vann Joines and Ian Stewart.

Daily exercise just helps all sorts of things. A clean diet is also highly recommended. My guess is that 70% of the major health problems could be prevented by people only putting skillful things in their mouths, and 70% of political and social ones by people skillfully regulating what comes out of their mouths.

SOFB:  I want to know if he has any experience with vampiric and draconian entities and if so thoughts on their origins and shamanic techniques vs meditative in their confrontation.

Daniel: Yes, and that is a very long topic about which I do have reasonable experience, unfortunately. How to deal with toxic, dangerous, malignant entities is complex. There are many ways to work, many possible levels of response, and it very much depends on you and the nature of the entity and what it is doing. First, many such interactions are obviously caused by the person themselves to some degree, as they clearly invited them in and maybe even attempted some sort of deal or contract with them, so the simplest first move is to either not do this to the degree that you are able or at least take responsibility for your part of the tango. Next, don’t let the entity's bad karma and actions lead to you creating bad karma and actions whenever possible, meaning, whenever possible, respond skillfully and kindly rather than angry, vicious, etc. You could attempt some dialogue that expresses your wishes straightforwardly, such as to stop sucking your energy, for example, at least as a preliminary step, and presuming you had the time. The Buddha, for example, recommended strong boundaries and keeping good company but also options such as sending them loving-kindness and also teaching them the Dharma, in particular the Law of Karma, such that they might learn and change their evil ways. That said, creature all have their own nature, and their nature might just be the way it is, so don’t imagine this solution will always work. Basic dissolving of contracts as well as ordinary measures such as circles of protection and the like are obviously standard moves worth trying. If these fail, and kinder measures fail, then at this point I am comfortable with a realpolitik response, as we all have the right to defend ourselves when under attack. If at all possible, go with a Compassionate Exorcism style approach, which you can Google Search for lots of information on, but, if that doesn’t work, then tactics such as simply blasting them out of your space, formal old-school command and control-style banishing, and the like, are all reasonable approaches at that point. Any port in a storm. Afterwards, might have a good look at yourself and ponder what about you attracted that sort of interaction and what you can do about it to try to prevent it in the future. Friends might be able to help with this, as might a simple divination, etc.

SOFB: What methods can he teach to an astral magician who will not use prop's and con's in spirits evocation and the same want to create astral amulets, astral magic rings that will function more than those in use by the shaman ? Has he ever practiced astral magic in its full details ?

Daniel: I get the sense that this question is referencing some specific texts and systems that I am not that familiar with somewhere in its assumptions and background. I am also not sure what variety of shamanism they are referring to, as the topic and varieties are vast. Also, my guess is that there is a specific system of astral magic whose details they are thinking of, and so my answer is probably “No, likely haven’t practiced whatever system you are thinking of in its full details.” Some underlying background would probably help, as it is a very large, vague question that likely has some more specific, practical question behind it, I suspect.

SOFB: In Bardon's system we first observe our thoughts. Only when we reach the capacity to observe our thoughts for 10 minutes without any distractions nor identifying with them we are allowed to move to the next exercise that consists in maintaining one thought and further the vacancy of the mind.

For some people the first exercise tends to be more difficult than the second ( one though meditation).

In your opinion what's the best approach to reach the vacancy of the mid? Why not identifying with our thoughts can be more difficult than keeping attention into our breathing for example? What should be done first? Do you have any crutch/prop to recommend that may help us to reach these goals?

Ps: My apologies if I didn't make myself clear, English is not my first language, you can edit the question to make it more "understandable" if you want.

Daniel: One of the helpful tricks I have learned that is simple but effective is noting, specifically to just note “thinking” when noticing that one is thinking. It is obviously a thought, but, as many have noticed, it turns the power of thoughts into part of the solution, as, if one does this long enough, particularly with some other part of the practice involving attempting to focus on something, such as fire kasina (www.firekasina.org), then the mind will begin to simplify, settle down, and become much more workable.

SOFB: Knowing what's in IIH, I'd love to know what synergistic practices he sees for those who walk the path that could enhance development and performance through flow.

Daniel: That’s again a huge question and too vague to easily answer. However, I can say this: most magical practitioners are just not getting concentrated enough, and, for most, to get concentrated enough takes about 70-150 hours over a very short period of time, such as a week or 12 days or something like that, such as we do on fire kasina retreats, which is why we do them. My capabilities for immediate, immersive, palpable, hearable, seeable magic go vastly beyond my baseline capabilities when I have paid my entrance price and am powered up on retreat. If you haven’t seen what that is like, do yourself a favor and do a retreat like that, realizing that it is not entirely safe and heeding the warnings, and, if possible, having a group of sane, reasonable friends around with some “trip-sitting” skills, as those will serve you well.
Best wishes,
Daniel

SOFB: Massive thanks to Daniel for spending so much time answering these questions.

If you would like to purchase Daniels updated book while  also supporting us then please use this link.

 



 

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Wed, 02 Sep 2020 13:16:00 GMT //studentsoffranzbardon.com/blog/an-interview-with-daniel-ingram-author-of-mastering-the-core-teachings-of-the-buddha
Please Consider Supporting us Here //studentsoffranzbardon.com/blog/please-consider-supporting-us-here Hello all. I wondered if I could ask any of you who enjoy our content and who have the financial means to consider supporting  us.

Everything we put on SOFB  will always be free and public as we feel this kind of material should always be available  to all.

But a little support does go a long way as it pays for hosting etc. Not only that but we we have far larger plans for SOFB interviews, downloads, courses etc which will be freely available if they are here on this site or very reasonable if we need to put host them elsewhere. But to get to these larger goals support is required. 

If you would like to support us, you can do it here via our subscribestar page.

The base level of support is $5.00 over at subscribestar, I will add other tiers to provide other training in line with and supportive of IIH if there is interest. 

Thanks all.

 

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Thu, 14 May 2020 13:15:00 GMT //studentsoffranzbardon.com/blog/please-consider-supporting-us-here
Interview with Josephine McCarthy: Director of Quareia school of Magic //studentsoffranzbardon.com/blog/interview-with-josephine-mccarthy-director-of-quareia-school-of-magic  

I am extremely happy to introduce Josephine Mcarthy. Josephine Is the director of  Quareia, ‘A school of magic for the 21st century’. She is also the author of all of their extensive materials. I feel it is a great achievement developing such a system and extremely generous to offer it for free directly on the website. In this interview I hope to delve into this system, discover where it has come from, what can be expected from the training and what the future plans are. 

To have written and put out for free such a comprehensive system but more so than that to keep it positive, and self sustaining without the need for a central figure  is very impressive.

 

If you have enjoyed this interview then please consider supporting us here.

 


 

Important links for this post

Quareia FAQ

 

Free Books by Josephine McCarthy 

 

Books for purchase by Joesphine McCarthy

 

Support Students of Franz Bardon so we may continue to bring interviews like this. 

 


 

SOFB: Thank you very much for agreeing to this interview. I would like to start with asking about your journey and how that led up to the formation of Quareia. 

Josephine: After going through the questions, I want to make it very clear right at the beginning, that I have not done IIH and am not overly familiar with it. I have a passing familiarity with Bardon’s work and life, and I have a great deal of respect for him as a human and also for the work that he did.

My magical journey has been long and convoluted, a bit too long to outline in an answer. But a summary would be that right from the beginning, it was not a path of straight line training and lodge, rather it was meandering path where I intersected with various teachers and guides, and where I worked with a wide variety of people and learned a great deal as I went along. I have natural inner sight which helped enormously, and I come from a background that made me familiar with ritual (Catholic), monastic discipline and introspection, and also visionary work. I also, from a young age, was exposed to different cultures and religions in the community and through my father’s friends, and also exposed to more alternative/mystical concepts through my father’s own spiritual journey.

 

I spent my teens blowing myself up magically and figuring out divination, and my twenties were taken up with having babies, education, dance, and exploring/practicing magic in various ways. I started teaching magic in the early 90’s and moved to the USA for eleven years, where I taught extensively.

 

I retired from the direct teaching of magic in groups in 2008 though I did guide a mixed magical group for a few more years. During that time the concept of writing a course kept pushing at me, and I resisted. Instead I wrote a few books, and through that process I learned a bit more about the discipline, method and voice of writing – each book taught me something of the process of structuring information that was not too much, nor too little. I also learned (the hard way), that localised ways of speaking through text do not work to a wider audience - Yorkshire black humour and direct speaking is easily misunderstood outside of that northern British culture. I had to slowly learn to write for a wider cultural audience. That, in retrospect, was training me up for taking on the course itself. And even through the process of writing the course, I was constantly learning about how to communicate concepts and ideas. It is a never ending learning process.

 

I occasionally go spend time in Germany, hanging out with magicians who are from very different magical backgrounds to me, and through those meetings, in particular with Frater Acher, the idea that I should write a comprehensive course of self-training kept coming up. I initially intended to do a book size ‘basics’ structured course to get people on the right path, but fate took over and the full-blown course demanded to be written. It was also very clear to me that it needed to be freely available, designed for self-study, and not bound by any one particular stream of the western magical systems.  It took just under three years of full-time writing, and was literally a ‘blood, sweat and tears’ endeavour.

 

 

SOFB: You began in the 1970’s and began teaching in the 90’s. This is a great deal of experience, can you share how things have changed in the world of spirituality since that time? Possibly this links with my first question as to why the need for Quareia was seen. 

Josephine: When I first started dipping my toes into magic as a teen, I was living in a situation where I was not very aware of what was out there in terms of books, magicians and systems. The only place I could access books beyond cookery and romance novels was the main city library and the local university library. The selection was minimal in terms of magic and related subjects, and I had to look carefully, often taking hours to find something. I read philosophy, mysticism, some magic, and a lot of ancient history. I had no idea what it was I was looking at for the most part, but I would spend hours sat in the library, reading, trying to take it in. It was all very confusing to me as a fourteen year old, but I knew in my bones there was something I had to grasp, I just didn’t know what or how.

 

 I sort of figured out most basics as I went along, and from adventures with my father who was deeply into the Rosicrucian path, and he was also interested in various peripheral aspects of magic such as psychism etc. We went on a lot of adventure trips to ancient, classical and medieval sites, and he would give me a book to read and then ask me what I thought about it. His interest was very much of that generation (he was born in 1923): mediumship, mentalism, and so forth. I was also very lucky in that the right teacher always came along at the right time to push me onto the next step.

 

During the late 80’s and the 90’s a lot of magical paths had become about money, popularity, status, fancy outfits, big hats and the latest craze/invention packaged in a workshop, be it Arthurian, Celtic, Nordic, the ‘real real’ official real Golden Dawn, and so forth. There was a lot of ‘never before seen’ claims of hidden magical mysteries coming to light (along with a website, books and marketing tools). It was pretty depressing to be honest.

 

 There was also a lot of interesting experimentation going on, probably triggered by the earlier chaos magic stream bursting out on the world, so it was really a melting pot of all sorts of stuff. It was a time where the breaking off of shackles that happened in the 1960’s and 1970’s had come to fruit – people were trying all sorts of paths and methods. 

 

At that time I was busy working and raising my kids, so beyond keeping my own experimenting, teaching and practice going, I did not really have time to look over the fence and really see what was going on in the rest of the magical world. I only saw what was around me, which was the plastic shamans and ‘Merlins’ on one side, and the death metal chaos magicians and Elvisonian (they were awesome!) mysteries on the other. Gotta love California!!

 

For the most part I have always isolated myself from the mainstream, not just society, but also the magical communities. So besides the time I lived in California (where everyone and his dog was a ‘guru’ of some sort), I have been not that aware of the trends unless I crashed headfirst into something by accident. Coming back to Britain, it was interesting to see that there was more experimentation here that was not connected to trends, and I met some wonderful magical people.

 

I think the biggest change I have noticed is accessibility. With the birth and maturation of the internet, everything is now available at your fingertips, usually for a price. What is lacking now (I am generalising here) is discernment. People have become used to being sold something these days that they are trained by marketing to look for tasty instant glittery tomes that are ‘secret’ (so secret you can buy them and they have a website telling you that they are secret), and a lot of people seem to disengage common sense and intelligence when they seek a path. It might have always been like that and I just had not noticed before. 

 

I find it fascinating that you can open the doors to all knowledge through something as amazing as the internet, and still people flounder – true magic can be found hiding in plain sight, safe and sound, but people will not penetrate it if it is not appropriate.. 

 

SOFB: The path is never straight and level with lots of twists and turns. Can you share what have been the biggest challenges in both the actual practices and in dealing with the effects/changes that growth brings into one's life. 

Josephine: My magical path has been one long twisty turning racetrack, and I think the biggest challenges were hostile partners, and juggling a magical life with raising children and working. I made a decision early on in adulthood that the magical /mystical path for me was my life path, and everything else had to orbit around that. So instead of pushing for a successful career, I took whatever work would enable to me to do what I needed to do in terms of a magical life and raising my kids. My ‘career’ training was in ballet, and I was far more interested in training professional dancers than working as a performer in a very predatory environment. However, such work wasn’t always available in the places that the magical life took me to. So at times I would work as a waitress, gardener, cleaner, bar tender, and at one point I worked in wild fire and forestry – I did whatever was necessary to provide for my kids and continue my magical work. 

That was very challenging in so many ways, and it taught me a great deal – such work is often at the bottom of the social ladder, and I got to see first hand just how obnoxious humans can be to each other when one is in a powerless position. For quite a few years I would find it hard to put up with rude and obnoxious people on a day to day basis, and then go home and exhaust myself by working on a long term magical project/working in that area that would hopefully benefit those same people.

To reflect it in a humorous way, it would go something like this – 

Magical Contacts: we are going to move you across the country to an area, and we want you to clean it up energetically, and trigger balancing. Will you do that thing?

Me: yes, I will do that thing. 

MC: ok, here you go. 

Me: thanks, I am here now, but the people here are really horrible. 

MC: do that thing. 

Me: sigh, I will do that thing, but can I wipe out all the obnoxious people? 

MC: no, do that thing. 

Me: sigh…..ok.

 

In terms of the effects/changes that magical growth brings, they have been tough but very welcome. Magical growth brings up your bullshit and rubs your face in it. It slaps you down on a regular basis, and you realise just how much of modern living has no real relevance to anything. And this process never ends; we are all a work in progress until we die, and if we are true to ourselves, we realise that the painful changes that growth brings are really necessary and should be welcomed with open arms.

 

The biggest challenge of all in my magical life was writing the Quareia course. It was often fourteen hour days, three days off a month, for two years and nine months. Energetically it totally hammered me as it was contacted writing (working with your mind and spirit in the inner worlds while typing). I put on a huge amount of weight from it (the body creates ballast to cushion the energetic impact of the work), and also got a few bad injuries along the way.

 

 It took me another three years to get my body back into shape and fitness. But a finely balanced sharp sword does not come from love and faeries, it comes from an anvil, a fire, and a hammer – the metal is constantly plunged into the fire and then hammered flat until the perfect blade emerges. True magic is not for sissys – it will test you to your limit, and then test you again.

 

SOFB: As many reading this interview are coming from the Franz Bardon tradition could you provide some insight into how Quareia is similar and how it differs from the Bardon tradition.

Josephine: Magic is a long meandering path that runs alongside the fate of humans. Every so often someone is prompted or dragged kicking and screaming (usually in my case) to lay down foot stones on that path of magic so that people can walk a few more steps in magical development. It is a path that sometimes runs straight and true, sometimes dead ends form, sometimes it has to double back on itself and re trace steps, and sometimes a path has to be constructed to go around a block in the road. Every seventy to a hundred years or so, someone pops up somewhere and does construction work on the path, to keep people moving forward.

 

Those construction workers are just that; workers with a job to do. They are not necessarily the best, it is just that they are perfectly placed in time and fate, with everything they need around them to get the job done. And the job is done in the way that is necessary for the time and place in human development and consciousness. 

 

It is never a straight line of development either – I have looked at work done four thousand years ago and realised how far behind we have fallen in terms of magical skill and knowledge. And I have looked at work from a hundred years ago and wondered what the hell they were thinking…. But it was what was right and necessary for the time, place and people. That took me a long while to understand – you can only build a path that the feet of that time can cope with.

 

Every section of the path that is built brings something forgotten to light again, and it also has flaws. Every section is built for the people of that time, so it must work in a way that is conducive to the mindset, understanding, and fate tides of the time. 

 

When Bardon worked on his course, the collective mind of the time was in need of discipline, and rootedness in the body and mind. His course reflected that. It needed to have some roots in Catholicism as that was the underbelly of the cultural thinking and religion of that time. IIH also reflects that.  It also needed to be able to flow through the filter, which was a man who was a stage magician, who was a mentalist, and who was very focused on the body. So that is the shape the course took as it filtered through him.

 

It will not have been a conscious decision, rather it is what came through him. And that is the key to a true magical stone on the path – you do not ‘invent’ it. The writer may structure it, but it essentially comes through you. It is a collective stream of magical consciousness that flows through you and you form it into something. However, the magical knowledge must first be within the writer from a practical perspective. The writer gives the hard earned knowledge and gives it structure, and the inner stream brings it to life in a new way. When you codify something that you have deep experience of, it forces you to look at that knowledge from a very different perspective. Through that process, the magician opens as a bridge to the inner worlds, and what flows from that place/contact is an expansion of view and understanding.

 

 This has happened for millennia and will continue to happen while ever there are humans. It happens with religions, with magic and with mysticism. Some writers put down their own ideas and ideas they have poached from other written work, and some bridge something that is far beyond themselves. It filters through the acquired knowledge and practice of whoever is writing, but it needs that filter of true practice in place for the bridge to work. 

 

That is what I recognised in Bardon’s work – he was a bridge. His work while rooted in his own practice, also had the hallmarks of someone who was allowing those inner voices to flow through him. It is the same voice/s that have uttered for millennia, coming through priests, mystics, philosophers and magicians throughout the ages. Sometimes they are lost for hundreds or thousands of years, only to reappear when the time is right. Sometimes they are drowned out by a mass of commercial fake writers, and sometimes they are found shining in an unexpected corner.

 

Bardon focussed on the body and mind, which was right for the time, and the goal was getting the person in ship shape ready to be able to step forward after a time of devastation in the west. And it had to be done in a way that the people and culture of the time  would understand and relate to it. 

 

 Quareia takes the next step and opens out the inner vista that was almost lost in the west, and slowly trains the magician in construction, so that there will be more workers building paths in the future. It also loosens the boundaries of culture and religion, and looks into various corners to understand how others have approached the same powers. IIH prepared the vessel of the magician in a solid way and gave strong foundation skills. Quareia, sixty years later, brings flexibility to compliment that solidity, and also brings techniques, awareness and contact that can stand on the earlier foundation that was built.

 

A major difference between the two is that Quareia works in cooperation with nature and beyond as an equal partner and in practical service – a concept that Bardon also deeply understood and encouraged. In Bardon’s time, the general mentality collectively in the culture was heavily Catholic, and had a strong sense of rulership over nature, and that nature was present to provide for man. Quareia moves away from that and recognises the sovereignty in all nature and beings, both good and bad, and works from a rule of balance and cooperation on equal terms. That is not a ‘Disney feel good cute nature’ approach, rather it is recognising that we are part of a much bigger pattern. We cannot control it nor should we, but we can interact, cooperate, and partake of the powers of creation and destruction that are all around us. We are simply bit players in a much larger production.

 

Is Quareia flawed, yes, undoubtedly. Am I aware of the flaws? For the most part no – I can see little flaws now, three years on, but the big flaws will be spotted by the next generation as they will have moved further along the path. It will be up to another worker to come along and build the next step in the path, iron out the flaws, dispense with what is no longer necessary, and to bridge new work that we cannot even conceive of. Magic and magical training should always be moving, developing, refining itself, and laying a foundation for the next generation to build upon. It should be not be a fossilised dogma that is never moved from.
 

Without Bardon, we in the west would still be swimming around in a soup of psychology and drama that was constructed by Mathers et al. His work was a vital step on the road, and I hope that one day Quareia will also be considered a step forward that contributes towards producing magicians that, when the time is right, will forge the next step to be built.
 

SOFB: Stillness,Vacancy of Mind - it is a requirement for most paths. But many struggle with ‘getting it’ or knowing when they have reached a good enough standard to move on. How do you deal with this? As some linger for years looking for perfection of deep samadhi while others are happy with a noticeable improvement and on they go to the next stage.

Josephine: If you wait for perfection before you move on, you will still be sat there a hundred years from now. Stillness is not a ‘thing’ you get and then you are good to go… it is a lifetime journey that circles in on itself in ever deeper layers, with times when it is almost impossible to achieve, and other times when you find yourself looking at the universe within the stillness. 

 

We live in a fast noisy world that does not want us to be in stillness and silence – marketing doesn’t work on a still mind. For people who grew up with the constant inner and outer noise, finding silence and stillness is an uphill struggle. But it is the climb that is important, not the summit.

 

Once you find yourself in the silence, and gain the ‘feel’ of it, you have your reference point. The rest of your life as a magician is learning how to first sink into that silence, and then how to stay in it while functioning, or dealing with a screaming toddler. The achievement does not come from meditation alone, it comes from the holism of the path, be it mystical or magical (or both). Modern life has become a very compartmentalised existence, but magic, the soul and the mind does not work that way. Everything in magic in entwined, everything affects everything else. As the magician develops within a wide ranging training, slow but steady changes occur that assist with the stillness. Why?

 

Because you learn to approach the stillness from various different angles – the key is the first touch of the stillness, the void. Once the living mind has experienced it, the deeper soul remembers and begins to come to the fore. Some gain that first touch through meditation, some through visionary work, etc. By continuing in practice without striving for an end goal, it slowly develops like a muscle. It is the striving that blocks the road – magic is natural, like breathing, it just ‘is’.

 

So my advice to students would be, first build the discipline and practice, and recognise the first touch of stillness when it happens. From there, keep moving and developing, while also giving yourself daily opportunities for that stillness to be reached. I meditate, and I also work in walking mediation, and work in vision while walking down a busy street – as the stillness rises, I let it expand beyond me so that it touches everything around me. That is not only a good training practice, but also a service to everything around you. 

 

Stillness can be found on a bench in the noisy high street, it can be found in the woods, or in your own front room with the TV going and the kids fighting. But that takes time and practice. Meditation is not just done sat on the floor, it is done on a bus, or stood waiting in a queue, it is a whole body experience, not just a mind one. If you have five minutes to spare, be still, look out the window and clear your mind.  Bring it into your everyday life, into every cell in your body.

 

SOFB: Energies, Visualization, Visionary experiences. I know this is a predictable question and one that you actually address in the study guide ( I read it before doing the interview :) )but for the benefit of readers out there. How do we know these experiences are ‘real’ at what point do we move from visual creativity to actual new experience of reality where we are truly experiencing an element, elemental being,  planetary energy, or deities and not just believe we are experiencing it. 

Josephine: Visualisation just stays within the mind and imagination, visionary work takes a step beyond by working through a constructed interface. That is the point where the imagination becomes a gate as well as a translator, and not just a producer of imagery. Visualisations are usually constructed from psychology or mythology, and true visionary work is constructed from magical patterns and interfaces.

When people first start working visionary techniques, for the most part, all that is working is the imagination – however that is a necessary step as the imagination needs structure and vocabulary to prepare it for true visionary connection with what is outside of yourself. You need to build the muscle before you start heavy lifting.

I advise my students to treat every experience in visionary work as if it is real, even if it is not, unless something appears that is obviously from your mind like a character from a game or TV show. The reason for that is if you are constantly trying to ‘prove’, ‘test’ or analyse what you see, you essentially allow the rational mind free rein to shut that visionary door and you become locked in your imagination. 

 

This was the mistake that a lot of magicians made in the early to mid-twentieth century, which almost caused the loss of visionary technique in many branches of western magic. Their focus became one of psychology and the imagination, and for the most part it locked them out of visionary contact. All they had to fall back on was scrying, which is like trying to shoot an arrow at a target you cannot see.

 

If as a beginner in visionary technique, you treat everything as if it was real, it allows the imagination to explore and expand. The student starts to recognise, while working within a visionary structure, where the imagination is filling in gaps from things it already knows. When the student finds they cannot fix on something no matter what they try to visualise, that is a sign that things are starting to open. The next step is an experience while in vision that could not have come from their own mind, or was so ‘left field’ that they didn’t see it coming.

 

Part of the job of the path constructor in visionary work, is to ensure that the visions worked with by students are paths that are safe, are well-trodden paths by past magicians, and have as little detail as possible. A well-trodden path is a safe one energetically and takes less inner muscle to accomplish. That in turn allows the student magician to explore and learn, and to develop inner contact without overreaching themselves.

 

Simple well used paths train the imagination not to get hung up on flowery details that serve no purpose, but to pay attention with an open mind and interface with the basic construction. The visionary construct should get them to the inner space, enable a contact communication, and then get them back out again. There should be no unnecessary detail in the vision path.

 

Eventually there comes a time when the experience is so unique there is no doubt that it did not come from you – that can happen at any time, from Apprentice level onwards. And at that point, the inner experience tends to at some point externalise into the physical life of the magician as an event that you would have had no way of knowing was going to happen – except that the inner contact gave you something or showed you something that would have direct relevance or would help you. You didn’t understand it at the time when you were shown it in vision, but it all makes sense once the event happens.

 

Another sign of true inner contact and visionary work is the physical impact. Once the student starts to work in deeper patterns, it is really hard work for the body as well as the spirit – the day after you can feel like you have just run a marathon. This is why training the body is so important in magic.

 

Once you gain adequate skill in visionary work, it is like meditation – it not only happens in a sealed room in silence, it is also done while walking about, while dealing with a sick child or an injured creature. Visionary work once you have gotten to a certain skill level is something that you should be able to slip in and out of as is needed. It is not just about you and your own magical evolution, it is also about service, and there are techniques that can be used in emergencies, and in the midst of chaos, or in the middle of a violent storm. As a technique it can reach from working on something simple in this realm that needs assistance or construction, to working with planetary consciousness, being out in the stars, down in the underworld, or working deep in the inner worlds.

 

 To do that, you need to be able to be still. When you work at that level, there is no room for self-questioning or a scattered focus – you need to know what to do, how to do it and be able to do it. You can take things apart afterwards, but not in the midst of the work. To get to that point, the student works repeatedly over time in ever deepening orbits of inner consciousness connected to meditation, ritual, vision, utterance, and movement. Like all arts, magic takes discipline, time and dedication.

SOFB: Something else that I know you discuss in the study guide but it is a common question and debate in some circles. Beings psychological creations within our own consciousness or external independent beings. Now firstly I am interested to hear your description of both models and secondly I am interested to hear how you advise people to move from one to the other. As I am sure even if unintentional there would be an experience of inner creations first before the outward entities in many cases.

Josephine: In Quareia we do not work with beings psychologically constructed within our own consciousness as it serves no real purpose and can quickly become extremely unhealthy. It was a fashion in the late 19th and early 20th century with the rise of psychology along with the misunderstanding of what beings are.

 

We work with a variety of different types of beings while also training how to differentiate what type of being it is that you are connecting with; where they are from, what they do and why they do it. This is done slowly over time with proper training, and starts fairly early on in Apprentice work once the student has gone through certain basic developmental processes.

 

A being created by your own mind can be a self projection, which is used a lot in theatre work for example, or it can be a thought form used to achieve something.

 

 The problem with thought forms is that they are essentially empty vessels that a parasitical being can step into and operate. Similarly, in late 19th and early 20th century magic, some magicians used what we recognise as a type of thought form to make god forms. But because they were constructed from psychology, ritual, and dressing (image, colours, sigils etc), they were empty vessels that first were filled by the wants and needs of the ritualist, and later, filled by parasitical beings (from outside the human) that were perfectly happy to pretend to be a deity in order to get energetic food and attention. 

 

Self projections are good for theatre, acting and stage magician work, but in magic, it can quickly become a situation that weakens the magician. It can have a place in magic when you need to shield, change your appearance in order to vanish etc. But if that self projection becomes worked with in a more sustained way, it essentially freezes the inner development of the magician. 

 

The same is also true when a part of the self is projected outwards in order to converse with it – they are often given forms of gods or beings, but they are from within yourself. Some magical streams use this as their only way of working, so in reality they are not working with any being beyond themselves, but with parts of themselves. This has its roots in the concept that we are our own universe and everything is within us. On a deep mystical level that has some truth, but it doesn’t seem to convert well into magical practice for most people.

 

Beings that are not of us, are a lot more complicated. For thousands of years different cultures have given them different titles – i.e. deities, angels, demons, faeries, spirits, inner teachers etc. Different cultures approached them in different ways, and often the trouble would start when the human need to classify, organise and then dogmatise not only the being, but how you interact with it. I prefer the way the Egyptians approached it, in that to them, everything was Neter, i.e. spirit (unseen but living). Everything to them was either a deity spirit or a ghost/ancestor.

 

The way I approach it in training is that there are beings that are body and spirit  (humans, animals, etc) and beings that are not body but spirit. But even then, you trip over the fact that a lot of spirit beings are connected to something solid (a tree, a mountain, etc). The main hurdle I find for students, is loosening the need to hold on to names, classifications and hierarchies. So in the course, those connections with labels are slowly loosened and questioned, and as the student starts to make their own contact with different types of beings and have direct experience of them, their own unique understanding starts to form.

 

And that is really the only way that one can differentiate and move from self-constructed beings to beings that are independent of us, is by practical work, paying attention, and direct experience. There is no ‘right’ way, i.e. no one path that is THE path to do inner contact work with, however there are quite a few ‘wrong’ ways to do it, but they can teach you just as much as the right ways. 

 

At the end of the day, there are beings that are creative, beings that are neutral and beings that are destructive. Then there are beings that can be a combination. There are beings that are deeply connected to humanity, and beings that are more removed from humanity. It is a bit like going to a new country with a different culture and not knowing anyone – you have to learn how to navigate the community, and learn how to spot who is good for you and who is a threat. It is not easy, and it comes with learning from direct experience.

 

When I constructed Quareia, I built it magically, so that although it is a written course, it sits within a constructed magical pattern that filters out certain types of beings, draws other types of beings in, and provides a safety net, guardianship, and inner support for the student without it being too ‘health and safety’ – budding magicians need to get their fingers burned a few times in order to realise this is real and not to be messed with. That goes for the work as well as the inner contact with various beings.

SOFB: WIthin the Bardon ‘Tradition’ we have the second book, PME all about mental wondering, evocation and travel to firstly what Franz bardon termed as the Earth Girdling Zone where 360 Spirits contacted by Franz Bardon agreed to have their sigil included in the work of PME,after tis the other planetary spheres are worked with. Can we discuss some of these subjects?
What are your thoughts on the Mental Wandering in IIH and PME compared to the Visionary work of Initiate level? Are we talking terminology? (As some even within the Bardon community have disagreed over what is really happening with the mental wondering) or are these two very much different approaches.

Josephine: To be honest, I am not familiar enough with Bardon’s work to be able to comment on that. I came across his name a few times, then I learned of his life story, and I instantly recognised the hallmark of a true magician in his life story. I looked at some of his work, and again recognised I was looking at a true magician, and that he was doing his version of what I was doing – we were both drinking from the same well. But beyond that, I didn’t look further into his work. Not because I don’t respect him, which I do, but I simply didn’t have time. I rarely read other people’s magical work because I am too wrapped up in what I am doing, and just don’t have the time. 

So I don’t know how Bardon approached visionary work beyond what I spotted in IIH where he uses similar exercises that I learned and now teach beginners to get people’s minds prepared for inner vision. Where I do know we differ is in attitude/approach. I noticed in IIH that he mentions the dangers of your body being touched while doing vision work, and he also views such work as ‘leaving the body’ and relying on the inner umbilical cord to keep you connected. That is a method that comes out of Theosophy. I don’t work with that method, I work instead with expansion.

In the visionary work I work with (and many other magicians work with) it is not the spirit leaving the body, but the spirit expanding beyond the body – it has no shape and no need for containment. The shape of the spirit is simply our own imagination projecting that limitation upon it. Slowly the student learns to expand beyond the body and move around.

There is a very early exercise in the first module of Q where they learn to walk around their home, and to look in a mirror. I do not suggest what they should see, and I find it good to see students being so frustrated because they cannot see their shape – they do not recognise themselves in the mirror. Most just get a sense of colours, or shade, or energy, which is perfect… the inner spirit has no shape, it does not look human, it doesn’t really look much like anything. All the students at that stage think they have failed, when indeed they have achieved the first step – beginning to know themselves.

From there, they learn to move from one realm to another, and it is their consciousness moving through the imagination which acts as a vehicle for the spirit – the spirit can go anywhere, and the imagination acts as the translator of what is being interacted with.
 

In pure spirit form, it is like learning how to be like stretchy taffy -  you expand and flow, and then contract. It is less of a danger on the body/spirit connection, gives a greater freedom, and also allows you to experience the stillness in everything. So for example being touched while in vision is of no real consequence other than a minor shock if you are not expecting it. I have worked in vision while stood working behind a bar, for example – it was a particularly rotten place with a lot of gang violence. I would open the gates in vision and let whatever was necessary flow into the space. I would do it while work was slow, so I could stand at the end of the bar with my eyes open but my mind in vision. The bar closed down in twelve months – job done.

In vision work you learn to expand out and flow through everything around you which in turn enables you to touch upon the divine stillness that resides within everything. That enables you then to really experience the truth that we are all truly connected: everything living, in any and all time, all have the void within them, and your spirit can flow through that as a real living experience and not a theory.

To be able to get to that point, and also gain/give communion, work and action in vision, the student needs to learn to walk before they learn to run. I do not know how Bardon approached that, but I am sure he had his own method for stepping people through those stages. He was very aware of responsibilities, and the necessity for careful and steady training.

SOFB: Also with these planetary spheres and the intelligences within them are these always approached via the visionary magic or is evocation ever used?

Josephine: There are many different ways of working with the earth belt spirits and the planetary spirits, and the methods go right back into the distant past in history. Berber women in north Africa used to talk/work with these spirits over a thousand years ago. Vision is a good way to work with them, but utterance and ritual is also a method that can be used, and when you combine vision, ritual and utterance, you can get powerful connections. This is something that Frater Acher, a magical colleague in Quareia, has worked a lot with.

Essentially, one you have made contact and have a workable method, then over time as your skills develop, you learn interesting and new ways of doing things. A magical acquaintance that crossed my path did just that – Walter Ogris who was a student of Bardon, developed his own way of working with these powers, and he evolved that work through his own method of talisman construction. I am familiar with his work and it is truly on the mark magically – practically, it works like a champion!

I would say, once you have developed a working method through training, and you have moved from training to actual work, then you will start to experiment and develop working methods that are unique to you. And by doing so, you have forged a stone on the path of magic for others to walk on – that is how the path develops, not just from course writing, but from individual development work. Once you have gotten something working well, the magical pattern it creates becomes ‘visible’ in the inner library/the place where our knowledge is stored. Another magician can tune into that space in a time of need and stumble across your work. And so the path grows, blossoms and matures.

 

SOFB: This also might be a good place to talk about something you wrote in the FAQ ‘ Deities are explored in practical, visionary, ritual, and theoretical ways by understanding them as vessels and windows, substations and thresholds for natural power and expression, but then drawing that deep focus back in order to work with a deity as a humanesque form they can interface with’. Could you discuss more about substations for natural power? How can the student integrate with this and bring it into their lives?

Josephine: The answer to this could quickly turn into a book as it is a complex and involved subject. So I will keep it as simple and as brief as possible.

An example of substations that magicians could understand would be the Kabbalistic Tree of Life. The Tree of Life is like a circuit map that shows how Divine consciousness expresses itself into form (the world). In itself, the Tree of Life is nothing more than a map, it is not the landscape itself - that is very important to understand.

It maps out a series of powers that expand and contract to form tension as the Divine utterance flows from intention to expression. Each sefirot is a substation, an aspect of Divine power, a focused element of power that does one thing, and together those sefirot create a holism that expresses itself through life and death. That is an inner and deeper layer of how substations work.

So you have a physical world that is made up of tensions of opposing powers, all of which are subsections of Divine power/consciousness. Let’s look at a practical example of a deity. Here is one that most people should know – the Egyptian goddess Sekhmet. She is a subset of a larger ‘female’ power (female as in her energetic structure and what her power does, not a physical gender). Sekhmet is a destroying power that operates through disease and war. She is a destroying power that balances out creation to ensure there is not overgrowth of creation. 

in the story of the Holy Cow, Sekhmet is sent by/flows from Re, the sun god, to strike down the bad humans who have gotten out of control. But she gets blood lust and gets out of balance, nearly wiping out humanity. The story is likely a memory of an event/s that stayed within the consciousness of the culture. 

The power is that of Gevurah – the power that is the Strength of the Divine that keeps the creative power of Chesed in check. It is the power to withhold (from life) and strike down, to thresh the harvest. Sekhmet is an orbit of that substation of power, but for the culture to be able to commune and connect with it in order to understand and work with it, that power needs a form and a face – that is how human consciousness works. 

We need something we can understand in order to talk to/interface with it. In Egypt that power was understood through the power of the lioness, and the deity was formed in a way that is both human and lioness, a power that sprang from a bigger and more powerful substation. Understanding that dynamic, we move away from worshiping deities, to understanding that it is a window that enables conscious communion and understanding between human and that Divine power. I hope that makes sense, as I am trying to condense a lot of information down to a few paragraphs!

SOFB: What else do you feel is significant to mention, as you have a great deal of experience as a practitioner and a teacher. What recurring themes do you see?

Josephine: I think as 21st century magicians, it is high time we learned to live and work magically with the environment around us. For too long now, religions and magic have treated the world like it is our own personal playground, that everything is there just for us and we can ignore or abuse it as much as we like. That is not correct, and is highly destructive, as people are now beginning to realise.

Until this year, a lot of magicians (and folks in general) didn’t pay any attention to nature, or they approached it in a ‘what’s in it for me’ way. It is not until disaster starts knocking at the door that people really begin to realise some things need to change. It is important for magicians to realise that the Divine power flows through everything, and we are connected to everything. With that understanding, we learn to stand alongside the rest of nature instead of ignoring it, plundering it, or using it as a ‘Disney’ feel good fix.

Where in the mundane world people ask, ‘why is this happening to me’, or ‘why does God allow this’, the magician looks around them, from an inner and outer perspective and first examines their own actions and behaviours that need to change. Then the magician works in vision with the inner expressions of nature (the substations) and asks, ‘what do you need’, ‘what can I do to help’ – from there, a lifetime of work can unfold. It is quiet, behind the scenes with no fanfare or acknowledgement, a long-term project of stepping up magically and working for the long-term future, to help a balanced natural unfolding, not to block what is already happening or about to happen. That is not glamorous, and cannot be paraded on social media for feel good clicks. 

That work also has to be balanced with outer mundane work to support the inner work, which is something else that seems to have been forgotten – if you do inner work to clean up a river, for example, it can take years of work. And those years should also include visiting that river on a regular basis and picking up litter etc, along with ensuring you do nothing that is within your power to add to the problem. If every capable magician looked after one small corner, added up it would make a major difference.

That sense of responsibility for the nature around us, and the long-term commitment, is something I feel that needs to be more in the forefront of magical discussion and practice.

 

SOFB: Lastly before we move on to member questions. What are the future plans for Quareia and where do you see it in 20 years?

Josephine: In terms of future plans, we are working slowly and steadily with some translators, to have translations of the course in different languages, and we are working with accessibility advisors to ensure that the website is disability friendly. We are building up our residential program to ensure serious students can come together with me for a few days to debate and connect with others. Though the current pandemic has put a pause on that. Similarly, we had planned a conference to bring different magical voices/paths together, to give people different perspectives and views, but that has been postponed until next year.

I want to build up the free books/papers page to ensure that there is free accessibility to complimentary subject matter and books, so that people who are in countries that have difficulty accessing books, or where the economy is not good, they have a lifeline. 

I also want to spend the next decade putting together materials that will help students of all magical paths, and to develop ways that catalyse people to view the world around them, particularly our environment and ecology, through a different magical lens. We cannot truly exist magically with the world around us if we do not understand it nor work with it both in a mundane way and a magical way.

I don’t see Quareia becoming massively popular as it is too much like hard work, and it is a long-term training, not something that can be done in a couple of years, so it takes commitment and maturity. I hope in twenty years, there is a small number of adepts who are not only trained up but also have settled into their own development work, so that they can take the next steps. If in twenty years an adept who has done all the training, and has worked magically for a while as a practitioner, turns around and says, ‘the training lacks X, and I think it could be remedied by Y’, and they are right, not just showing off, then I can die happy.

The world is changing rapidly as the west declines, and our societies will look very different in twenty years’ time. I hope that Quareia lights a corner of that world, and that along with other lights (other magical paths) that it serves a generation or two of magical seekers as they navigate their way through the changes that are happening and coming. I am not bothered about how many or how few walk the Quareia path, just that the path survives to serve those who need it for as long as they need it. I suspect that was also Bardon’s intention. We leave little magical beacons in corners and caves for people to find shelter and nourishment from, and so magic survives and evolves.

 


 

SOFB MEMBER: What other techniques/meditations or books has she used to help with the soul mirror work, besides the ones in IIH?

Josephine: The soul mirror work in IIH is loosely based upon a Catholic monastic discipline, which is something I grew up with (I went to a school run by a monastic order and boarded with them for a while). Just to be clear, I never did IIH, it was not my path, though many people seem 

I personally feel that the technique can lead to a very negative way of dealing with the self, as it stays very much (from what I understand of Bardon’s approach) within the intellectual meditative self-examination and listing of positive/negative qualities. It has value for people starting out on a mystical magical path, but it is not something I feel should be a lifelong thing of itself. Rather it should evolve through practical application and ever deepening understanding of cause and effect in a wider sense beyond the self, and also understanding of human nature itself – why are these different qualities within us, what purpose do they serve, what needs evolving within oneself for the wider good of the whole pattern. That in turn should be examined from a magical and fate perspective.

For example, a silly basic one but you get the idea…. The magician suddenly gets an urge to eat a load of pie. The magician eats the whole pie, feels like a pig, and lays down to digest. It is not their normal behaviour and it troubles them.

Option a – reflect on greed, feel guilty, write it in the little book – greed!! Then go through the process of trying to not be greedy, to never do it again, and maybe abstain from anything to punish. Walk around feeling guilty and useless. That is the Catholic way.

Option b – ask oneself why the sudden need to eat a whole pie when it is so out of character and discipline. Are they getting ill? Is there a magical energetic event building up from an inner perspective? Are they hormonal? Are they just greedy? Have they just finished a round of magical work that may trigger a need for ballast?  The magician would self examine for a while, and if there is no obvious conclusion, i.e. pre-menstrual?, just  needed to binge, or just finished a magical working that may have been harder than they realised?... if nothing fits any logic, the magician would then use a divination health reading to see what the hell is going on. Often a magician will bulk up ready for a magical impact that was as yet unseen, and it would show in a reading.

 

So where a religious approach would include guilt and self lashing or a feeling of failure/imperfection, a magical approach would simply ask why? Is it necessary? If not, then discipline needs tightening up. There is no guilt or feeling of failure, just a need to identify and adapt.

In Quareia, it is approached in steps that are not always obvious. It is approached in practical acts that can trigger self-examination to understand why that act kicked up certain emotions or behaviours. Then the student learns about cause and effect, not just in magical terms, but the wider implications in society. They are led to look at ethics and morals where they come from, what purpose they serve or not, what is cultural conditioning, what is about social cohesion as opposed to the health of the soul, and so forth.

The students also work closely with the concepts of balance, of justice and the magical scales. They work with magical dynamics that can trigger those scales for the individual, where the magician is led to ever increasing experiences of what happens when they step outside of what is balanced and necessary for them as an individual.

They also work in vision with mirrors, again in ever deepening layers. It is not constant, rather it is an occasional revisit, so that the practical every day life and maturation of the individual can learn, absorb, observe and examine how they are growing and changing.

Within that is practice of self reflection, but it is tempered with observations on actions as opposed to simply being thought and emotion. It is those sort of ‘Hagrid’ moments – ‘uhoh, I shouldn’t have done/said that’. The key is not just knowing something was wrong, it is important to understand why, and what potential effect that misstep will have on everything around them. Then they have to think about how to rebalance the energetic imbalance through action. 

Everyone, every magician has ‘Hagrid’ moments, because we are human. For the magician, it is important not just recognising it, but doing something about it. It is also important to understand that ‘good and bad’ are not hard fast boundaries, but are human complexities. It is equally important to understand that certain actions, qualities and behaviours, particularly in a magician, can often have wider sources that the individual themselves.

So the self reflection is not just about self, but about everything around them, how power works, how the body and mind works, and how the ups and downs of human frailty can at times have good reason to surface. It is about moving away from the concept of the individual, and moving towards awakening to being a part of a complex organic and energetic system.

It is also about understanding how fate can trigger a behaviour in someone or something in order to move them from A to B or to achieve something specific that is necessary.

We are complex beings in a complex interlinking universe, and self examination is not about evolving, it is about the basic awakening of awareness of self. That needs to be moved beyond during training in order to grow/evolve.

SOFB MEMBER: What practices do you use practically in your day to day life besides thought control and the soul mirror stuff. What of the deeper practices have led to development in your life.

Josephine: As I said earlier, I do not and have not done IIH so I approach a magical life in a very different way. My daily practice before the working day starts is meditation, a small magical working I do every day to uphold the Work, 30 mins physical training, and then I go outside and sit with nature for a little while and ask how everyone is doing.

In terms of deeper practice that has led to development… my whole magical practice, every aspect of it builds up and tears down whatever is necessary when it is necessary. I could not isolate one thing, as everything is interlinked. I would say that magic itself has and continues to be the major developing influence on my life. I could not imagine a life without magic – it has been with me from the beginning, from the earliest part of childhood in one way or another – it is how I breathe.
 

SOFB MEMBER: What are your thoughts on the beginning exercises of the magic of water, food, and air? Does this take resources away from the different pots that you’ve described in your writings? (we had a second question regarding magical food impregnation and your thoughts upon it)

Josephine: I was not aware of those exercises so I looked them up, and it is not something I would do to be honest. Nor would I ever have had a chance to…. Between tending a house, raising kids, and juggling multiple jobs and a magical practice, I was lucky if I got a chance to even sit while I ate.

It was something that was very in fashion from the late 19th century until the late 1950’s. However, I have found that trying to use the mind to focus in and control the input of energy disengages the natural flow of energy from substance to self. 

 

Making sure you drink clean water, eat healthy natural foods both raw and self cooked, and deep breathing clean air every day is a good way to nourish the body naturally, flowing with nature as opposed to trying to enhance and control it. And of course, eating for necessity, not habit, boredom or entertainment. It is important for a magician to stay as healthy as possible, and eating properly is a part of that.

 

SOFB MEMBER: In the end of IIH Bardon talks about communing with actual elemental intelligences. Is there a simpler way to connect with them.

Josephine: I am not familiar with the method that Bardon uses, but there are many different ways to commune with elemental and other intelligences. The method I use works through the visionary aspect of magic and outer utterance: first going into stillness, then moving the mind/imagination into the element and being in that space with it. Flowing into a river, the earth, a stone, a fire, a planet – and doing it slowly and without force, allows you to shift your consciousness to the frequency of the element itself. If you do find resistance (all communion with any intelligence should be polite and not forced), then back out. If you find no resistance or a curiosity, then once you are within that element and adjusted to it, communication can then happen. 

Or you can work in ritual vision with utterance to call/request the intelligence to come to an inner threshold/space where you can commune on equal terms.

 

SOFB MEMBERr: Also Bardon was very reserved about Sexual Magic, only mentioning it briefly in IIH. Where does sexual energy place itself in Magic development.

Josephine: Sexual energy is only worked with in certain types of magic, and not with others. It all depends on what sort of magical path you are walking, why you are walking it and what you are hoping to achieve. I understand his reserved attitude to it as it is an area of magic that is highly prone to attracting parasitical beings, and is also a dense and volatile creative energy that misdirected (intentionally or by accident) it can trigger mental health issues in some people.

SOFB MEMBER: Long lasting Addictions can be problematic to change for young practitioners, how can we aid ourselves (Edit:who have these challenges) with this pattern and weak will, are there any spirits from the earth zone or beyond which can help us overcome it ?

Josephine: Spirits or any type of being or consciousness cannot help with such issues, and trying to find a being to help you with such an issue is most likely to attract a parasitical being who will have the opposite effect to what you are looking for. With spirit parasites, they feed off emotional energy (violence, sex, addiction, pain, joy, etc) so if you connect with one, you are less likely to overcome an addiction.

Addictions are complicated as there is often a mix of causation (events, circumstance, genetics, mental health, etc), and magic cannot cure an addiction, only the individual can. The first step is to understand that as an addict, the person will always be an addict, it is whether they choose to feed that addiction or abstain. I know quite a few abstaining addicts, who have after many tries, have cleaned themselves up long term, and they are life long abstaining addicts. Knowing yourself and being truthful with yourself is the first step

SOFB MEMBER: 1. If I remember correctly she is a ballet instructor. What would be her recommended training regimen for IIH neophyte which ensures success?

2.What practice is missing from IIH? What would she add to it?

3. Can she describe the qualities of a well rounded adept?

Josephine: 1- I was a ballet coach, now retired (I am rapidly approaching 60yrs old). I am not sure what the question is here… are you asking about a ballet training regime, a fitness regime or a magical regime? And there is no such thing as a training regime that ensuring success – that is marketing speak. Success comes from discipline, hard work, and not giving up, regardless of what it is you are doing.

2- IIH is a body and mind preparation training. Quareia is a magical training, they do cross over, but they are also very different.. and my own practice is very much individually tailored to the work that I do.. so this is almost impossible to answer.

3- Self gnosis, practical working magical knowledge and experience at an adept level, discipline, determination, truth, more self gnosis, and even more self gnosis, courage, connection with the Divine, a well rounded inner connection, lots of patience, and the understanding of necessity.

SOFB MEMBER: Is there a simpler way to make contact with your HGA aside from that mentioned in IIH?

Josephine: There are lots of ways to become aware of this being, and lots of ways to connect with this being – some are simple but require an established foundation of practice, some are more complicated, and some are just silly. But in truth, awareness of this being, which is always connected to you, can be gained by paying attention and listening… the skill is in knowing what it is you are listening to, and having a frame work of filters in place to filter out any beings masquerading as the HGA. It is not just a magical technique, different religions also have their own methods in their more mystical branches.

But is there an ‘off the shelf’ ritual or working that you can do to throw a switch? No.

 

SOFB MEMBER: It is just a detail but I am curious to hear her opinion about Bardons prescribed eye bath.and what it would be good for?

Josephine: In general, the eyes are pretty good at looking after themselves: they are designed to self clean and self heal. An eye bath is only worthwhile if something is lodged in the eye or there is a major issue with it, and in such cases it should be with sterile saline or sterile water. It was very fashionable in the early to mid 20th century to ‘take control’ of the body and cleanse it when in fact the body, if looked after in a health balanced way, is best left to do what it is designed to do, which is to self protect, and self clean.

In magical terms, I see no reason for doing this act, as it has no magical consequence at all, and certainly has no effect on inner sight. 

 


 

I just want to say having finished that, thank you for inviting me, it has been an honour, and it was very interesting answering your questions. I wish everyone well of their respective magical paths! - Josephine


 

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Thu, 07 May 2020 01:54:00 GMT //studentsoffranzbardon.com/blog/interview-with-josephine-mccarthy-director-of-quareia-school-of-magic
Interview with Chris from the 'Knowledge and Conversation' Podcast //studentsoffranzbardon.com/blog/interview-with-chris-from-the-knowledge-and-conversation-podcast Today we welcome Chris from the excellent podcast ‘Knowledge and Conversation’. If you would like to check out the podcast then click here.

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Hello and welcome to Students of Franz Bardon (SOFB)

Thanks for asking me to do this! (CHRIS)

SOFB: Firstly could I ask you to introduce yourself to the readers, please tell us a little about yourself and how you first discovered Franz Bardon's books and what motivated you to get involved in magic, specifically the Bardon system.

CHRIS: I'm Chris and I consciously started walking down the magical path about 13 or 14 years ago, but looking back, it seems like I was always meant to go this way. As far back as I remember,  I had an inner sense that there was a greater depth and reality to the spiritual than I was given in my mostly superficial Catholic upbringing. I was fascinated by the mystery behind the myths. I started showing creative inclinations very early in life, so to me imagination and curiosity have always been a huge part of who I am. I think it's the combination of those things that lead me to pursue a spiritual life that is based in direct experience rather than through dogma and legality.

 

To make a long story short, I experienced some trauma in my childhood & teens. That grew into some serious depression, which is a thing that I still deal with today. By my late teens/early twenties, that had blossomed into a hyper materialistic atheism, so when magical things began to happen in overtly shocking ways, I had to investigate it and I had to do it seriously.
 

What I didn't expect to happen was that the current would carry me to Justin, one of my first teachers, best friends, and K&C co-host, along with a whole group of friends that would become my teachers and magical family so to speak. I was introduced to Bardon soon after.
 

From there I think it was just the right place, right time & right support system that helped me get there.
 

SOFB: Please tell us about the Podcast ‘Knowledge and Conversation’. How did this come about? Did you have any mixed feelings in being so open about your practice?
 

CHRIS: Justin pitched the idea of doing a podcast to me a few years ago, but it took awhile for us to figure out what form that would take, learning some of the ins and outs of actually doing one, and getting enough time and equipment to make it.

Really though, for me, the seed of the idea came to me when I looked at my occult podcast feed and realized that while there were plenty of podcasts that talked with and about authors and different people teaching, there really wasn't much in the way of magicians sharing the kinds of extraordinary experiences that we all have. The experiences that make magic real to us and worth pursuing. I knew that magicians of all stripes were all around us, I wanted to hear their stories and it seemed the best way to do that is start with our own.

 

So to tell those stories honestly requires a level of vulnerability that is to me, impossible to fake. I just didn't want to do this at all if I am not being as genuine as I can. That of course meant coming out of the quiet, private life that I had been practicing in for the past few years. It was a hard choice, but so far I'm glad I made it. I've already met some great people that I wouldn't have if I were still keeping my light under a bushel so to speak.
 

SOFB: In every interview I like to ask some standard questions regarding common sticking points found in IIH:
 

VOM: Franz Bardon said he expected step 1 to be completed inside of 2 weeks. Do you think this was realistic or the first of many tests of the students 'Will'.
 

CHRIS: It can be done, sure, but I wonder how much it matters. If it took you 3 weeks or even 3 months would that matter in a year? Ten years? Thirty years? Would we even remember how long it took? Because that's the scale we're talking about here. VoM is not a thing we do once and quit. It's a profound change that one is attempting to make in their mental habits. It isn’t easy, but it’s very doable. It’s not a race, so why don’t we do ourselves a favor; keep working at it and let it come when it comes.
 

A helpful tip is to get a good workout before, or to practice immediately upon waking, whenever the mind is not already in its usual pattern of behaviour, and the body is not going to be complaining from tension or tiredness.
 

It's also important to remember that this exercise is the third in a series. Some of the folks who get stuck at VOM tend to be skipping ahead a bit, because when we really get it, it’s an extension of the other two parts. First we learned to observe the thoughts, which introduced us to an aspect of our minds that could be passive, not partaking of the thoughts, and which is always there. It's the awareness. This should also show us the various ways that thoughts form and appear.
 

Then we're to focus on one, or to follow one train of thought to the exclusion of anything else. This shows us to a greater extent how thoughts form, and how to diffuse them in order to maintain focus on our chosen thought. If we were really paying attention, we'd notice that eventually we didn't shift as much, but still little thought buds and sense impressions might show up. Memories of childhood, recent events, bits of books and movies. Sensory data from things we're hearing, tensions in the body, emotions and so on. These can be indulged by the awareness to become thoughts or be allowed to arise and pass, never to become a full thought. Eventually, even these go away.
 

See when we're going about our normal lives, our awareness is hidden from us, it just goes around letting attractive thought buds blossom into full blown thoughts that we inhabit with our awareness, as if it were the sun, and clipping down the ones we don't want to give life to. Our perceptual investment in the thoughts is so profound, we lose the distinction between the impression or bud, the thought itself and us. All the time. It's exhausting when we think about it.
 

VOM simply extends our newfound still awareness and marries it to the function of eliminating thoughts from occurring.
 

So first we sit in our observer, open, without a thought to concentrate on. We're just there. Ultimately it feels like sitting in a pool and just floating, keeping ourselves and the water still and serene.
 

At first, the thoughts will come. We let them pass. Then the buds show up. We clip them off. They come back. We clip again. It's exhausting and counter productive.
 

In reality, we don't need to clip them at all. If we let the thought buds dissipate by simply not attaching our awareness to it, it not only goes away… but it's like it never happened. We're just still.
 

At first, they're going to just keep popping up, but eventually the appearance will only briefly disturb our pool of awareness… so brief we aren't even aware of what it was… then we're starting VOM. When we're still aware, but not automatically attaching to the buds to the degree that we don't even see them.
 

VISUALIZATION: People tend to spend years here expecting IMAX like results, what is your advice for those on these Step 2 exercises. Did you follow the method from IIH or come up with your own approach?
 

CHRIS: I followed the IIH method, but for me visualization wasn’t much of a problem. The challenge was discipline, and control over time. Separating out the specific senses was the hard part for me.
 

That said, I think it’s a case of probably trying to overshoot the results. Bardon is trying to get us to have control of our imaginary faculties even when we are doing other things, so that later, when we attempt something like scrying or evocation, we can do it all with ease and still see where we’re going! So, we want crystal clear imagination at our command while doing anything else.
 

VITAL FORCE: Some people can not feel the accumulation, what can they do to feel it more intensively?
 

CHRIS: What a great question! Vital force is the root feeling of life itself, so go out and get your blood pumping! Go for a run, or do some yoga. The Wim Hof breathing method is particularly effective too. After finishing these activities, there should be a number of sensations. The flow of blood in the body produces pulsing, rushing feelings throughout the extremities, from the heart outward. That tingle we’re feeling right there, behind or inside that is a feeling of LIFE. It’s in the srtech of the muscles, the beat of the heart itself.
 

 Yes, We know that’s just high oxygenation, but the idea is to amp up the sensations to get a touch stone on it, something to draw on to get us started. (And it is in fact in the air and the blood too!)
 

Then we can do this with just a few deep breaths, assisted greatly by the pore breathing and skin brushing techniques. If we do this, we should be able to feel the tingling, light feeling. Now if we sit in meditation and bring our whole attention to the sensation to it, it’ll grow and intensify in a kind of feedback loop.
 

 We should then let all our senses paint the picture for us then… what does it look like? sound like? Does it get bigger, smaller? What is its relationship to the elements? Don't force it, just let whatever arises do its thing. To me, it looks like golden-white light that buzzes and tingles in little motes that congeal into a fluid of light.
 

Now, with a bit of luck, we can imagine the sensations and images being drawn in and kind of kindling between our outstretched hands. It builds up a tension, a skin like a bubble of light, and the more we condense it, the brighter and solid it feels. Whether or not you think it works however, make sure to disperse it before you call it quits.
 

Eventually, the dam breaks and we can feel it everywhere, in everything, because it’s there.
 

ELEMENTS: Getting in contact with what Rawn Clark called the principle of the element can be difficult as at that point the student has no real idea of what this and when it is make believe and when this goal is finally achieved. What are your thoughts here?
 

CHRIS: I can't speak for Rawn here, because I'm not familiar with his work, ha ha.
 

But if I had to hazard a guess, I would say that the principle of fire is that which is at the burning core of the stars, erupts in every volcano and splits the air in the lightning. It is the Fiery passion and will that blazes within.
 

The principle of water is the frozen core of the glacier, the dark pressure of the ocean bottom, the power of the typhoon, as well as the fluidity that allows for ice, water and vapor. It is every year you have ever shed.
 

In Air it is the gust of a hurricane, thing that carries every sound ever heard, and every word ever spoken. It is the breath in your lungs.

In Earth it is the weight of a mountain, the pressure deep with the dark of the Earth that crushes carbon into diamonds. And in you it is the solidity of your own bones that says this is my body.
 

DEPTH POINT: This is perhaps a big development in the IIH where a big shift has to occur in order to understand the point Franz Bardon was trying to make. Can you comment on the significance of this exercise?
 

CHRIS: This is actually a pretty big one. It's deceptive because it occurs only midway through the book, but if done enough times, this can reveal the true nature of reality as pure, empty awareness. It can also unlock a method of gaining access between the magician's mind or spirit and the Akasa or Ein Sof, and the spirit of everything else in existence, and ultimately reveal those things to all be one "thing"
 

It's in hindsight of course that all of this comes together consciously, as a felt reality, but if one masters this, it makes a lot of the following exercises much more potent, on the spirit/akashic levels especially, and really helps bridge the gap on the higher steps.
 

Also can you comment on the difference between the spatial center of a thing and the depth point of a thing. 
 

CHRIS: The spatial center of a thing is where we can access the objects consciousness, like a pit in a peach. If we drill in deeper, smaller and smaller until atoms swirl around us like distant galaxies, into the akasa, we are in its depth point, where nothingness and beingness hang together as the fundamental paradox of existence.
 

GESTURE: Not much is ever heard about the application of Gesture training to create our own finger rituals. Has this been a useful part of your training and if so how have you applied these rituals in your training and daily life.
 

CHRIS: I use these like crazy. Beyond just using hand gestures for energetic purposes, like assigning them to elements, I use them for whole rituals, cosmic letters, even spirits that I have that kind of rapport with, though I generally don't bother them if I don't need to.
 

SOFB: If you had to guide someone through IIH is there anything you would change in the way you presented the training?
 

CHRIS: I think there's some points that the general tone is too stern or sparse. Most of the problems that I have seen center around the First step's spirit training. That's probably what I would expand on, detailing how the three exercises work together, and stressing the idea that they aren't a thing to be done and that's it, but that it's really the most foundational aspect of initiation.

SOFB: Though of course working through IIH has to have had an enormous impact 

upon who you are, did this have any overt impact upon your working and public life and how others saw you?
 

CHRIS: Absolutely. I am not unrecognizable from the person that I always was, but I am a much more principled, generally happy, empathetic and brave person than I was when I started. My early life was very difficult in many ways, and it would have been far easier to hide from those traumas than deal with them. Bit by bit, layer by layer I am getting better. I am a better father, husband, brother, and friend by every dimension that I can judge.
 

Bardon was instrumental in that growth.
 

SOFB: We asked earlier about sticking points that some have trouble with but in your rise through IIH did you also come across steps that caused you real trouble? If so how did you get past this and move on?
 

CHRIS: Of course I did! I remember having the biggest trouble getting around the second step's spirit training where we separate the imaginary senses. I had always had a pretty active imagination, but never that much control over it. Things would just pop up all bundled together.
 

Ultimately I got around this by allowing it to happen, and then just concentrating on the aspect I wanted, and once I became aware of what it was like, I would try for that experience again. Of course that only carried me so far, but with time and determination, I eventually got the hang of it.

SOFB: How has your magical training aided you in your work within Freemasonry? You mention on your podcast that Freemasonry provided some elements that you were missing from Franz Bardon's system.

 

CHRIS: There's a lot to be said here!

Bardon's system is really all one needs for personal development in many respects, but it was written in a way that divorces it from lots of other threads of western mystery traditions. He does it for good reasons, but it presents us with a problem to solve. If we want to understand anyone other than Bardon, particularly defunct groups like the original Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, without actually joining reconstructionist versions of those groups, we have to translate it.

Masonry helped me parse the different strands of influence that exist in the GD specifically, but also showed me how rituals devised by such groups operate, beyond what Bardon explains. It would be all too easy to give importance to something that is not relevant except in a masonic context. And this happens a lot. Too many people in the wider occult community are "experts" in massively complex systems that were and in some cases are way more experimental and flexible than we would think. This is how stuff like Chaos magic come about, reinvents the wheel and thinks it owns concepts like innovation, when it was there all along, it's just hard to see from the outside. The benefit of a tradition in understanding how these ideas flowed through time orients us in a way that going it alone just cannot do.

If you know that the base template they are using is Freemasonry, it's easy to see how they made use of that to shine a light on Hermetic, Chalean or kabbalistic concepts in order to bring them into harmony. A good example is just in how we see things like degrees. From the outside, a lot is made about receiving a degree and the spiritual experience of it. In reality, taking a degree is like drinking from a firehose in a magical sense. It's a thing that one studies and comes back to again and again. When all of that understanding matures, it's in the giving of the degree where the magic really happens. In sharing the light of wisdom that one has acquired.

Another thing it taught me was how these things actually function. I went in expecting something very different from what I got. I expected more studious, enlightened folks talking philosophy and esoteric concepts, and it's there but that's only a small part of it, and not even the most important part really. I eventually came to appreciate the role that each little thing, each person played in keeping the organization going.

There's also the ideal of accepting people from differing spiritual backgrounds as equals that I really love. That said, Masonry is an old organization and so it has social problems that need to be addressed, but I think it's still capable of changing and getting better.

SOFB: Do you use any other methods in your work or have familiarity with other systems Eastern Or Western?

CHRIS: When I started, our group had people doing all sorts of things, and Justin and I both learned a lot from a friend of ours who was a Yogi with a seemingly bottomless knowledge base about everything else too.

I really got into buddhism for a while as well, and even had the opportunity to spend a year or so with some buddhist monks who taught me some pretty incredible things. I didn't stick with buddhism, but I'd be lying if I said that there isn't an influence there.

Over the years, I've also studied a lot of kabbalah. I started with the Hermetic stuff and have been moving more and more into the traditional Hebrew form of it. The funny thing about that is that I can find a lot more agreement in all of Bardon's system with the Hebrew view than the Hermetic, he just incorporates more Eastern and Alchemical vocabulary rather than Hebrew. But in truth, the reason I love kabbalah is that, when approached a certain way, it seems to contain an analogue to virtually every other system that I have been exposed to. Even Bardon's unconventional hermetic ideas have a Hebrew term for them somewhere in a kabbalah text!

Alchemy and Yoga should get some mentions here too. I do a regular yoga routine and combined with Bardon meditation/elemental work it's my typical magic hygiene. Yoga, even as a purely physical exercise makes meditation and astral work much easier.

SOFB: Mental Travel and Franz Bardon's specific approach to Astral travel. How significant were these skills in your development. What I mean here is was your worldview impacted at all after completing these steps in what you experienced upon being successful in the training?

CHRIS: Over time I learned that the planes aren't discreet islands unto themselves, but rather that they exist on a continuum of experience that can be broken down in various ways; some useful and others less so. Bardon's system is structured very similarly to the Kabbalistic model of the parts of the soul and the four worlds, and that's what the third book is based on, but here what I learned is that the in the thread connecting us from spirit to soul to body is an infinitude of states that is the gateway to our true being, the Ein Sof or pure divinity. 


SOFB: How important is it to do the Astral Travel training of Step 9 in the way Franz Bardon explains rather than creating some sort of Astral double or illusory body without the Mental/Astal separation before integration? As much of what is read about all seems to point to practitioners taking the later approach and not the former challenging approach of Bardon.
 

CHRIS: I think Bardon and I would both say to learn multiple methods of doing anything, provided they are effective, which time would reveal to the practitioner if it's viable or not.

Personally I used Bardon's more than any other, but over the years it's gotten very streamlined. I can effectively do it by imagination and will alone now, but most of it's like that these days, just as Bardon promises.


SOFB: PME and KTQ.

What have these books brought to your practice? We know these are very private but would appreciate anything you can share about these works and the experiences they bring.

CHRIS: Evocation isn't something that I do a whole lot of, but Bardon's theoretical framework applies to basically any grimoire that I can think of. It's formed the basis for how I interact with spirits of any stripe.

KTQ is another example of using the text to build a personal practice for me, but it's more about how Bardon fits into the wealth of kabbalistic material out there. Go read Sefer Yetzirah if you haven't.

 

There are so many stories I could tell… and that's what the next episode of the podcast is all about!

SOFB: Did the way you saw IIH change after moving onto these books? In that it was preparing you for something?

CHRIS: Yes absolutely! The Key to the True Kabbalah is the book that kicked off a decade of kabbalistic study that doesn't seem to be ending any time soon.

SOFB: Lastly is there anything else you would like to add that you feel is important for students of IIH. 

 

CHRIS: Try not to rush through it, especially since it isn't a race. It's going to be a thing you'll do for years to come if you're meant to. Also, don't be afraid to let intuition help you out when you get stuck. It's very possible to "dry out" many of the exercises by not allowing your mind to show you the way toward accomplishing a task.
 

And trust in the divine providence to help you out when you need it. Tat Tvam Asi!

 

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Thu, 09 Apr 2020 09:02:00 GMT //studentsoffranzbardon.com/blog/interview-with-chris-from-the-knowledge-and-conversation-podcast
Interview with Bob: Community Questions on IIH, PME and KTQ //studentsoffranzbardon.com/blog/interview-with-bob-community-questions-on-iih-pme-and-ktq

Bob Smith Part Deux

Welcome to Bob Smith Part Deux! He has been incredibly generous and patient to go through all the questions we received. We still have a few others that I added on which I may add in answers to later. But I wanted to get this out to people ASAP so look out for slight edits in the future.
Also I have not edited questions or changed anything, once I start editing who knows where it stops, so your questions are here as they were sent in. Please take the time to thank Bob either here in the comments or in the FB group under the link for this post. He really did not need to do this, especially not twice.

Please enjoy.

If you have enjoyed this interview then please consider supporting us here.


SOFB Member question: First, if possible, what correlation between power and connective tissue; he said stronger connective tissue and tendons work makes for more wielding more power, I'd be interested to understand why from a hermetic point of view.

Bob: If you want to do something in the material world, you need a material point of transmission. Long before people can set things on fire with their mind, the conversion of astral phenomena to the physical most often happens via spontaneous discharge of astral energy into kinetic force. That force runs via the ligaments and tendons. 

SOFB Member question: Second, I'd like him to develop further on the topic of earthzone and elemental spirits. From his writing, I understood that they have agendas and evil intents of using the initiate and controlling his access to akasha. From Bill and Virgil's writings however, they are benevolent spirits who are more than happy to offer knowledge and training for one asking for it and are offering guidance. It might be a misunderstanding I got from Bob's text but I'd like to know why does he discourage one from working with them. 

Bob: I don’t discourage people from learning from them. Just understand that nothing comes for free. These things work with people as a way of expressing themselves in the material world. If you are looking for guidance, they will manipulate your senses to push you in that direction. It’s called getting what you asked for. The fact that any pact you make with them might very well last beyond the scope of your current lifetime is another oft left out fact. For example, becoming a priest in an apostolic order gets you access to the use of the Latin Mass as a source of power. And that is profound. The Latin Mass is a 1600 year old battery that has been continually added to by millions of people every day for almost two millennia. Being anointed a priest marks you and seems to last more than one lifetime. But it is the pass key to the egregore that surrounds the Latin Mass and without it you cannot leverage it. You pay your money and make your choices.

Regarding the Akasha debate keep in mind that the advantage of undergoing internal power development is that you generate your own Akasha and non-dual light. If you have not done this work, a spirit entity providing it to you is a way around this limitation. But just like borrowing your father’s car, he sets the ground rules for what you get to do with it.

SOFB Member question: It is common for some folk traditions to have practices surrounding the concept of ‘journeying’ in order to engage with spirits. Here I refer to those using drums or alike as trance induction methods, not entheogens. How would you relate those in regards to mental wondering as a way to engage with spirits as provided by Bardon? And why do you feel that engaging with spirits is not as much as a taboo for those traditions in comparison to those following Bardon system.

Bob: The drums, and trance induction, are just another way to induce mental wandering. Nothing wrong with it at all. Drums as a practical matter seem to hone in on lower vibration spirits. Chimes, and bells, higher order.

If you are using mental wandering to engage spirits as in the second book, you are working with spirits. No taboo in Bardon’s system exists. I just think that the issue of the bill being do for having the entity flip switches for you gets undersold.

SOFB Member question: From the different methods to engage with spirits provided by Bardon (e.g., mental wondering, evocation), which one you had most success with? And which one would you see as the most achievable for students coming into PME?

Bob: I’ve done evocation and mental wandering predominantly. I’m beginning to work more with the crystal method as it seems to better establish dominance early on with less physical risk or energetic demand as required by physical evocation. Mental wandering requires the most development of the subtle senses. Your clairvoyance and clairaudience better be on point or you are going to get a lot of fantasy based garbage coming through. Evocation takes the most setup and energy. It can also be the most dangerous, but it requires little in the way of development of the subtle senses. They crystal method is in-between. Personally, if I had to do it all over again, I would have started with the crystal method. FYI, spirits hate this. To the degree they can feel pain, the crystal method hurts them. But it also greatly reduces their ability to mislead or lie. All three can work depending upon what you are working on.

However, if you want to learn a physical skill, mediumship is what you need to engage in. And it is the most physically draining of them all.

SOFB Member question: The process of making consecrated tools is always a hot topic in grimoire based traditions. Some claim that every step should be followed by the letter while others are flexible to the point of skipping most of the tools. What’s your approach in regards to the preparation and consecration of magical tools when working with PME?

Bob: If you are going to practice a system, you need to follow the rules until you know enough to break the rules. As a practical matter, the tools act as charged foci to engage spirits with. They don’t see very well, but their sense of hearing and smell is very acute. So, while a paper crown painted gold with Hebrew script works well instilling your authority as a king, you still need to bath thoroughly, or the spirits won’t come when conducting physical evocation. Likewise, a polyester faux lionskin belt cannot hold the charge the real thing does. 

If you want to do mental wandering as your primary method, then get off your ass make sure your clairvoyance and clairaudience are on point. Your Akasha should be good as well to send the little bastards packing when the time comes.

If you want to be a ritual guy, then get all of your tools in order. 

At a certain point, you can freestyle. But you have to be competent first or it is all a mess.

SOFB Member question: Is it only the Earthzone ones that control access to akasha and non-dual light, or of other spheres as well? Why do you think that happens, does it have to do with they trying to keep you 'positively engaged' in incarnation and exploring the physical world, expanding universe etc, and not 'escaping' it, by achieving non-returner, or arahant, via non-dual light ?

Bob: I don’t know. All I know if that if you enter into a relationship with anyone, you need to have certain things in common and that will track you in a certain direction. Avoiding spirits and pursing the enlightenment path by itself has merit. But then again you probably won’t be doing much magic either.

SOFB Member question:  (Read a JB post some time ago, said some of Earthzone's seem like former magicians, some like egregores, and others like made-up energy currents or such) How does a being get to become such a spheric being as in PME, of either of the spheres, upto to Pluto ? Did they too have to incarnate and train hard into the physical world to achieve such godlike powers and be appointed such divine roles (not referring to the inhabitants of those spheres)?

Bob: I can give one example. The Black School of Saint Cyprian is internally run by a former magician turned saint. Then end goal of the system is enrollment in the Order of Melchizedek and the transformation of human magicians into angels of the Lord. For example, according to that system, Metatron was a human magician named Enoch. 

SOFB Member question: The Kabalistic letters, the primary energies and the planetary energies run via specific bands of connective tissue within the body"

Rawn: http://abardoncompanion.de/KTQ-Steps1-5.html :

"In Hebrew kabbalistic practice, there are not only notes associated with each letter (by way of the vowel points) but also a specific movement that accompanies each vowel's pronunciation"

How are those postures/movements discovered and cultivated, so as to help condense the planetary energies, and Letters as dense as possible into the physical? Does the Letter practice guides one intuitively, or other ? I'm assuming concentration plays a major part as well, besides the physical posture/anchor of sorts?

Bob: Three pointed focus forms the base: color, sound and sensation. By training the tendons/ligaments it results in a kind of clairsentience that as you vibrate the sound through the ligaments/tendons results in the body spontaneously forming certain postures/hand gestures/movements. These will be largely individualized to the practitioner and therefore free of a lot of the baggage associated with the egregores around something like a traditional mudra/body posture.

Only do this with Kabbalah. 

Traditionally the aspect of a planet is divided into the: various intelligences of a planet and the spirit of the planet. Bardon’s second book is a listing of planetary intelligences. They are useful for information. Each planet has only one planetary spirit and this represents its raw power. The planetary spirits (not intelligences as presented in Bardon’s second book) have an aspect in the physical world that can literally rip you apart. Accidentally slipping into the planetary spirit aspect at various points in time has caused me a seizure, burned my nervous system and other rather unpleasant side effects. This only occurred as I’ve done a lot of tendon training over they years. Most people without this training won’t get anything except astral and mental level side effects from trying to work with the spirit of a planet within their own body as it has no ability to ground into the physical.

SOFB Member question: Kether and non-dual light relation, differences etc?

Bob: As far as I view it they are the same. Non-dual light is something that can only be defined in the negative (i.e. by that which it is not).

SOFB Member question: "engage the denizens of the other layers of reality on my terms versus theirs"

Which are all the requirements of such, QBL, Godhead? Does "on my terms" mean, getting infos for nothing, because they acknowledge one's Divine authority, when the requirements are met, and no formal, or informal pact is set, and then they willfully help others?

Bob: Nothing comes for free. Ever. By being in the power position, you at least have a better chance of setting the terms. Again, you pay your money and take your chances.

SOFB Member question: If one cultivates non-dual light, and achieves non-returner, what's the purpose of IIH Step 10, 4 fundamental qualities of Godhead? Only to provide godlike authority for PME practice with the spirits of the spheres, or other ?

Bob: The godhead exercises strike me as the Western equivalent of the deity fusion practices out of Asia. 

SOFB Member question: MR: "If no B&W mirror reflection, the Will builds a supernatural Ego because it can"

Does the IIH Step 10, 4 Godhead qualities build in any stage such a super-natural godlike Ego/authority, any dangers, traps there?

Bob: It’s deity fusion. You act more like whatever deity you are bonding with. 

SOFB Member question:  Trekcho, Thogal, Rainbow body , via Hermetic practices, and perspective ?

Bob: I suspect, but do not know, that the rainbow body practices have something to do with the letters I and J. As they both generate rainbow like colors in the aura. If you are talking trulkhor that is another issue entirely. The letter I in particular greases the movement between the physical and astral powerfully. The letter J has a lot to do with the “meta” sensation tantric Buddhism strives to generate. Beyond that anything I have to say is a guess. 

SOFB Member question: I have a more simple question for Bob. I wonder if he use the Soul Mirrors (Black and White) and How he works on bringing Elements into Equilibrium.

Bob: I don’t ever use soul mirrors. I establish equilibrium by placing the elements into the four sections of the body repeatedly throughout the day (fire in the head, air in the upper chest, water in the abdomen and earth in the legs).

SOFB Member question: Would you say that the actual perception and recognition of the nature of the spirits of the spheres and EZ differs for the practitioner who has gone through KTQ before PME? How would you characterize that difference if there is one?

Bob: Hard to say. It was the way I did it. I suspect so, but I lack enough data points to give you a definite answer. In my case, when I work with spirits I can frequently feel the underlying source of their power from a letter perspective. Many of them do not like this. On at least one occasion the spirit even asked me why I was there. On a higher level you should, theoretically, be able to mirror and separate the energetic forms an entity uses from that entity and thereby generate the effects it is capable of without going through it at all.

Keep in mind my demon name means something like “Oath Breaker.” Just as humans have names for these creatures, they have names for us. Those entities well understand I’m not up to giving them anything long term. The fact that I’ve intentionally burned more than one of them out of this level of reality is known as well. I have no doubt this flavors my interaction with all spirits.

SOFB Member question: Six questions here from one reader. 

  1. Elementals/Elementaries: dealings, endings, side-effects. 

Bob: If someone has really powerful astral energy and/or near earth energy at this level of reality then they made a pack at some point in the past. This results in the elemental channeling more of that energy through them upon demand. As the debt has already been paid, it’s all good. Otherwise get ready to be their butt monkey for a few millennia after the end of your current lifetime.

2. Heavy use, or abuse, of akasha, physical plane, side-effects: 

Bob: Penalty box on Saturn. Akasha bends the rules of the physical universe and karma. Do this often enough and you get put in time out on Saturn where you are re-habilitated. This takes a very long time and is really unpleasant. Use magic to harm others in an unjustified way and you get the same thing. Practitioners whose job it is to judge others have a special relationship with Akasha. 

3. Which letters find more difficult and why, current practices. 

Bob: Fire is most difficult for me, but given my unnatural level of ability with this stuff that is a relative issue. My body in this incarnation has a heavy earth element aspect to it. Largely as it is designed to convert subtle energy into the physical. Currently working on gold body fusion. 

4. Unexpected or unusual experiences with the letters, or with other practices. 

Bob: Too many to even list here. Keep in mind Bardon’s book is the Cliff’s Notes version of Kaballah. Lots of stuff is left out.

5. Worked with, or impressions of other systems like, Goetia, Enochian, Arbatel. 

Bob: If you can generate Akasha and non-dual light, working with these things feels an awful lot like spiritual degradation. The Buddhist argument of pursuing Nirvana before pursuing magic has a lot of merit.

6. Evocation methods and preferences, wandering, uttering the whole complex, mirror, physical triangle, ? 

Bob: Currently crystal method. I’ve used wandering and evocation before. Really depends on what you are looking for. Wandering is good for information. Crystal method for clarity. Evocation for getting the little bastards to do stuff in the here and now. Mediumship for learning a physical skill.

Thank you for your experiences and openness senor Bob, quite unusual. 

Bob: No hay problema.

SOFB Member question: We have a large amount of questions here from the same reader. 

So though they are varied they have been kept together.

1) what happens when one uses an author's personal sigils, or telesmas, published in his book, do you tap into his sigil-reservoir, are you connected to him, are you feeding his sigil-reservoir, depleting it ?

Bob: Depends on how it is set up. For certain what you get is flavored by the creator of the sigil and the use others has put it to. Most systems of evocation stress the idea of coming up with your own sigils. Keep in mind accessing the power of an egregore almost always comes with the cost of making a pack and jumping through a lot of hoops.

2) in your -current- opinion and understanding, which knowledge, skills, siddhis might be needed, and good to have for the upcoming near future ? (ex: if I were asked, I'd say, telepathy, invisibility, levitation, ehuh)

Bob: Near future. Money and lots of it. Physical fitness and health. Skill at arms. A first world passport. Those are the primary ones. Living in the physical world requires physical assets. 

If you are counting on magic to save you, it is probably too late. Magic performs best as an accelerant for work you have already done. Breaking the laws of physics is cool, but won’t save you from a Hilux full of adolescents fucked off on khat and carrying shotguns. And no matter how tough you are, you aren’t going to fight a platoon sized formation on your own and win. You might die a little slower, but that is about it. Avoidance is the best policy.

3) everyday mental-astral state of living life and avoiding people's weird interactions, what things, practices not to do, how to guise oneself and not get noticed. If one practices very intensely and with long durations throughout the day, martially and gym, and develops very strong bodies, and maybe their aura emanations get stronger and noticed by some, are there ways to completely hide it, and just be perceived as normal person, not a powerful godlike initiate.

Bob: Learn how to establish equilibrium. Do it often. Not being noticed comes at the price of having very little opportunity in life. As the people who could help you cannot see you. “Living in the world without being a part of it” is the biggest lie told by the New Agers. Which is why they are all broke losers. Running a lot of non-dual light through your external energy center above your head generally results in a comfortable life in accordance with your life’s purpose. But it lacks the high notes, excitement or adventure. And none of that will save you from the Nazis if you can’t be bothered to get your ass out of town. Just ask Franz Bardon.

4) Are there any "disturbances in the force", psychic signs, dark, demonic entities gathering, what-ever, in the close environment that could mean a negative, destructive incident is going to happen soon somewhere there nearby, of a terrorist or any deadly attack. Anything else to do besides leaving that place, environment asap, how can one react, protect, manage such situations, while leaving ?

Bob: One of the universal signs of a heavy hitter showing up in an area is all the New Agers spontaneously leaving much like rats fleeing a sinking ship. Best to keep a low profile and get out of the way. I’ve almost died twice at the hands of individuals operating at that level. Mainly because they perceived me as a distraction to whatever they hell it was they were trying to achieve. Let that sink in. 

5) How to respond, protect from a "black magician" who abuses akasha against you? How to protect from true arch-demonic entities?

Bob: The easiest is surrounding yourself with the E-N letter formula at all four levels of reality. Beyond that, Emnasut has the ability to deal with demonic entities, but it comes at the price of causing brain damage leading towards schizophrenia. The stronger the entity the harder the bite on the physical end. I’ve sparingly used this over the years and paid for it each time. But sometimes there is no other way.

6) How to qualitatively-quantitatively easen/neutralize "difficult" Astrological aspects, squares, conjunctions (ex: Mars(Cap) sq Saturn(Sco)/Pl, Saturn conj Pluto, etc)

Bob: Astrology is not my strong suite. Acquiring ten hours of practice with a planet gives a base level of resilience to its effects. At 100 hours you as resistant as you are going to get. Counterbalance all planets past luna (i.e. the moon) with an equal amount of lunar practice. So, if you do an hour of Mercury, counterbalance with an hour of luna. For what is done with conventional astrology in that regard, I’d say look at the Picatrix and like sources. It’s a deep science and simply something I don’t work with. 

7) step 4 Mental , Transplantation of consciousness. Do we morph/shape our mental body to the object/person's, and exteriorize it and move into them, does the IIH previous steps lead one there and comprehending how to do it, tips, and what is exactly needed and performed? Do we transplant our consciousness, our mental body, both, into them, what?

Bob: You can. I wouldn’t. You are infringing on another’s free will. You will pay for that. Also, it is not a one-way street. Human beings are filthy animals. Whatever they are backflows into you and it is hard to tell it apart your own thoughts/feelings/etc. As a teacher once told me, “it is not what we know about others that allows us to work with them, it is what we do not know.” 

Also, if an older more powerful practitioner catches you doing this to them, their reaction usually entails violence. I had one associate beat a job seeker interviewing for a sales position unconscious with a telephone receiver when he caught them trying to manipulate his mind. Others are not our playthings. 

8) "It is much better to pay them off with ritual offerings with a clear understanding that the good stuff is not on the table."

How does one communicate to the spirits which offerings to provide to them. Does one in Godhead union just plainly asks them which offerings they would like for the information they will provide? (As in: "Hi, nice to meet you! I won't be joining your school or establish an informal pact, but I can pay with ..such" It's not my intention to make it look such cynical, just wondering how that'll end up being done by beings who supposedly can read you better than yourself)

Bob: Guides exist for this kind of thing with the better known entities. The e-book 360 Heads of the Earth Zone goes into great detail on this. If you can communicate via mental wandering, or the crystal method, simply ask. They are usually pretty clear on what works for them. Be direct. Keep in mind by wrapping yourself in non-dual light for 10-15 minutes before going looking for them it shields your lower nature from most entities. Whoever you are, your skills and your goals are usually pretty transparent to them. That has a lot to do with the information you do, or do not, get. Keep in mind that if you need them to do something for you as beings without physical bodies they have no breath. No breath means no energy. You can feed them energy directly, burn incense (that provides fire), leave offerings of various type, etc. Do some research on how to conduct offerings. Whole books are written on the topic.

9) Dangers when having a non-practitioner significant-other, and doing akasha, letters, universal energies work, side-effects, living together. Which conditions are better when initially starting such dense practices, solitary life and remote living place help? If conditions allow it, better to live with people when practicing dense work, or solitary so as not to effect them?

Bob: Succeed enough in life financially to afford your own practice space. Sure, that temple in woods where you practice sky-clad screaming at the top of your lungs miles from anyone else is ideal. But some people I know have built very effective talismans in a CONEX at the wrecking yard in Afghanistan. 

Have a separate place. Preferably not in the same building as your loved ones live in. Most people will go to huge lengths to avoid an active practice space. They subconsciously know they shouldn’t be around.

While short periods of intense practice in isolation are beneficial, if you use this as an excuse to avoid others you are missing the whole damn point. We are magicians. We create things. We bring things into creation. We are most effective as active participants in the world. Our greatest practitioners were men of renown: Hermes Trismegistus, Socrates, Aristotle, Pythagoras, Newton and so on, and so on. If you treat reality as a jail break, you are missing the point. They were not a bunch of butt fucking losers working out of their grandmother’s basement.

10) How to safely destroy (not bury, and found later) personal heavily loaded for years magical tools like, dagger, sword, ring, talismans, and get away unscathed. Use of akasha, Saturn energy, how, other?

(Mark Stavish on his book, The Magical World of Dr. Joseph Lisiewski: "my destruction of his magical tools. Suffice it to say that during their destruction by fire, a terrific downpour was building immediately above me which I barely escaped; for 6 months afterwards I suffered from severe tendonitis in my right elbow. You cannot touch evil and get away unscathed – but it can be purified")

Bob: Akasha then fire. Salt and running water as in throwing it in a rapidly running river works as well. The E-N formula can be applied. Keep in mind that something built up must be released. When it comes out, it frequently comes out in an unpredictable manner. I personally prefer fire.

11) Is it possible to visit/wander spheres and their respective planes invisibly, and not get noticed, and if noticed, which beings can see you and can't hide from, and why so?

Bob: Bardon talks about this. I’ve never felt a need to myself. If things look sketchy, I leave. It does not need to be complicated. 

12) Mummial magic. How to protect when someone has mummial parts of you, like hair, nails, blood etc. Can you once and for all cut all the cords or whatever binds you to those parts, or have to defend everytime on every attack?

Bob: First, you should never let that happen. Ever. Second, get the parts back and burn them if possible. Third, use the releasing techniques from the Sedona Method (sedona.com) and at the end of the outbreath cut the connection between your parts and you with Akasha. 

 

13) How did/does he approach the st10 personal Godhead assumption, and the ultimate Unity. Prefered methods, dangers, mistakes?

Bob: I’m not sure how to answer this question. Deity fusion is just deity fusion. Running non-dual light from the energy center above the head down through the body is just that. Projecting up and out and immersing yourself in non-dual light is just that.

14) Can our physical body withstand enormous amounts of cultivations, and energies, similar in power to shooting up a lightning strike. If our will, and our bodies can condense and withstand it, is it acceptable or there's a limit there somewhere, and how to find it. Namely, developing a physical siddhi upto a super-natural physical manifestation, and if any hidden dangers it entails, if no suffering signs are there

Bob: Again. I’m not sure what is being asked here.

15) Observer (knower?) - Intender aspects/qualities of the Mind, and which are in play in step10 personal Godhead assumption, or in the complete God-Unity as well. Are both those aspects/qualitites parts infused with that union, or the observer attends to all the operation. Just the mechanics of it, if any at that step, and upto which process they are utilised.

Bob: No sure what you are getting at.

16) Teaching methods with students, close relatives (siblings, parents) entanglements, traps, dangers

Bob: Need more specifics.

17) Does silk insulate all the quantities (or qualities) of all the spheres, and why? Is there a limit to its use, or charging/loading of a certain energy?

Bob: Not that I am aware of. It’s just a piece of fabric. It can hold a limited charge and shield to a limited ability.

18) How to cancel/neutralize a volt, wish, cause, that was magically/consciously sent in akasha (because, ragrets, 2nd thoughts, re-scheduling, mistake, whichever)

Bob: Release on it using Sedona Method.

19) (IIH ste8 Mental - wandering: "The elevation to any other sphere is now very simple and you have to do nothing else but concentrate on the sphere (color vibration?) that you would like to visit with your mental body; you will feel, as it were, whirled round and lifted up vertically through a funnel. The transition from our material world to another sphere happens as fast as if you were flying around the world in a single moment")

Quoting Bobs previous interview: (Bob: "I generate a huge screen of Akasha at the front of the wall. Then I fly into the Akasha. At this point I am in the Akasha and project to wherever I am going to. I go deeper and deeper into the Akasha. I go until all of my senses are blocked out. Then and only then when I am completely wreathed in Akasha, I call on the letter, planets, wherever of where I want to go. At first this will appear as a flickering light. It gets stronger and stronger as I key into the vibratory, or energetic, state of the thing. Then I slam into it. Keep in mind this takes you to the astral level representation of a thing.")

- Just trying to understand more about the entrance, and the various uses of Depth-point, or akashic trance as it's said. Because in IIH the depth point looks like a mental exercise, but with Bob's description it looks like that mental exercise leads into an astral level. Which are the pros and cons of the Depth point, and any other information about it. What are the differences of Depth point as an akashic point/center, and the place above the crown?

Bob: I’ve only ever used the depth point at the solar plexus. You can raise your mental body up into the energy center above your head or simply engage in mental wandering on its own. I’ve never used the depth point exercise at the level above the head. You can shift into any of the various levels of reality from the depth point at the solar plexus however.

20) safe exorcism of a possesed person, or haunted place, ways and energies used, precautions and side-effects

Bob: I’m not getting into that here. That is a science unto itself. I will say that if you exorcise someone that you personally take on responsibility to rehabilitate them. It is rarely a one and done exercise. If you kick out whatever is there, frequently something else just sets up shop. And the thing being kicked out usually causes damage on the way out. This is not for amateurs. 

21) PME: What does "Renewing the bond with Divinity" practically means. Re-constructing your whole method, re-visiting that Union?

Bob: I view this as immersing yourself in non-dual light. There are other interpretations.

22) Preferred long-houred meditation posture? Crossed-legs asanas, Egyptian throne-seated posture, other, why, dangers, issues ?

Bob: Throne posture.  It is most comfortable for me. Sitting for longer than 2 hours at a time is generally bad for the body. I prefer to do the following in 15 min increments: lying, sitting, standing and walking.

23) Bardon only mentions 24 Original beings of the ZGE (ex: Aschmunadai, whose name resembled "axis mundi" to JB, WM: https://www.facebook.com/notes/william-mistele/aschmunadai-transcript/10153698090021939 )

What is the role of the Originals, in comparison to the rest of the zodiac signs, and are there other constellations beings and degrees besides the 12 ones, and their effects on our world and bodies.

Bob: The answer to this could fill books. You need to be more specific.

24) Supposedly many beings, spirits and people of the negative hierarchy are incarnated on this earth in human form today, and many warlike types such as incarnated salamaders, and demonic types seem to prefer and join the army. What say you, ever noticed ones that had close such resemblance?

Bob: If you really believe this you shouldn’t do magic. The path of the warrior is one of the five primary archetypes of human activity. Society literally cannot exist without these people. Good, or bad, behavior is up to the individual. Free trade exists because the navies of various countries wiped out the pirates that used to prevent it. People are free because others fought for it. The people who fought most effectively were professionals. 

25) Rawn, BOTA's Pattern on the Trestleboard: http://abardoncompanion.de/Trestleboard.html , http://abardoncompanion.de/TMO5.html

What's your opinion, use of it?

Bob: I’ve never used it. I’m not a huge fan of past life exploration. Usually just brings up a bunch of traumatic crap that affected someone else in a life long gone. I’m too busy living my life. I have had issues of past incarnations attempting to influence me in this incarnation. I’ve handled them harshly for their meddling.

26) which Tarot card(s) would you personally choose to work with, resonate with and why ?

Bob: I don’t do Tarot.

27) When wandering and meet, or it comes to you being/spirit that doesn't originate in any of the planetary spheres, what to do, behave

Bob: Treat it like any other spirit. Figure out if you have a reason to be in contact. Sometimes its yes, sometimes no.

28) Philosopher's stone, long longevity by science, whichever comes first. Can one enjoy immortality, after cultivating non-dual light, become non-returner, or rather, the opposite, attain physical immortality first, then go for Nibbana ?

Bob: I’ve seen nothing in this community that moves the needle in terms of longevity past 100 years of age, or so, if you want to live like a person. And getting to 100 years of age is a three order of magnitude rarity among modern humans in developed countries. Realistically, most people can hope for about 80 years barring being from a family with a known short lifespan. Keep in mind that if the median age of death in a society is 80 years of age, that means half the people died before that. Modern science is starting to come up with some stuff, but it is not ready for primetime. Lot’s of things, including magic, are very good at shortening your lifespan.

 

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