In this post I wanted to look at some must read books, I have posted similar ones in the past but right now in 2021 we are spoiled for choice! This list is by no means exhaustive and will be edited as and when needed. It is not focused solely on how to practice Bardons methods, instead it also looks at the wider subject of self development that a Bardonist may be interested in.
A Bardon Companion
The first book we must look at has to be the book that has influenced most of us who are on this path, that is Rawn Clark's 'A Bardon Companion'. After IIH, PME and KTQ I would say Rawn's book has set the standard.
It is an absolute classic regardless of whether you agree with him on all of his opinions or not. Now Rawn being super generous he made the first edition free to download and later released a second edition which included additional correspondences from IIH students and other added material for more clarity.
Rawn goes through the theory with lots of additional information all from his own specific viewpoint, I used to read this constantly when commuting as it gives just enough to get you thinking in the right direction without doing your thinking for you. If you do not own a copy then I suggest you get it today either the free first edition from his website or if you would like to say thanks to Rawn for all his hard work then why not buy a copy to support his ongoing efforts.
AYP Spinal Pranyamama and AYP Deep Meditation
These two books are wonderful as so many post about their trouble with the first three mental exercises of Step 1. With regular practice of the exercises in these books you will gain arguably a deeper silence than you thought possible so early on. I added these practices into my routines early on and I really feel that it helped me to get ahead, the AYP community is also extremely helpful and though not totally aligned with our aims in IIH there is a lot of overlap.
Shen Gong by Serge Augier
This is a wonderful book on the journey into Stillness and Serge is an awesome teacher. I trained with him nearly 20 years ago back in the UK at a seminar as he was the teacher of one of my teachers. If you want traditional teaching, real stuff not the silk suits and floppy swords then Serge is your man. His tradition is a form of Clan Taoism rather than Religious Taoism. This book focuses on Shen Gung practice from his Da Xuan System. There are a lot of amazing stories about Serge, his teachers and his tradition but rarely have we found out the details, in this book he goes a long way in providing the basic requirements for progress as taught in his very authentic system. You will see they fit perfectly with IIH. Highly recommended.
360 Spirits of The Earth Zone: Volume 1 Spring
This is a modern day classic! In years to come I think it should be spoken about in the same way as Franz Bardons and Rawn's books. It is the first of four books as originally it was a huge book of over 700 pages but broken into these smaller volumes provides the practitioner a deep dive into Bardons Spirits providing far more info than he had the time for in PME. Nenad shows his extensive experience and intimate knowledge in the text. Honestly if you have any interest in the Spirits that influence us, especially if you are a practicing magician then this is a book you should have. Add to that it is also a beautifully prepared book with images throughout and thje first of a series of four.
Initial Experiences with the Kabbalah
Well if you read our blog regularly then you will see we have multiple posts with Bob. Why? Well one he is super generous with his time and answers questions really fully. He gives complete solutions to achieving certain goals in your Hermetics journey. He also has shared some pretty epic experiences with the community which demonstrate the efficiency of his methods. So in addition to his Sixty Skills app and udemy channel he also wrote this condensed book detailing the how and the why of his approach to Kabbalah.
The Virgil Series: Spirit of Magic, Elemental Equilibrium, Covert Initiation, The Gift to be Simple
Virgil's books are the bridge between trying to get it and getting it. He brings it all down to earth and discusses issues we all deal with. He is super popular for a reason, I guarantee he covers most of the questions or issues you have been faced with in your practice.
The focus of each book is as follows:
The Spirit of Magic
This book was written with one purpose in mind – to share the knowledge and wisdom the author has acquired since he began working with the system of magic designed by the Czech adept Franz Bardon. The contents of this book contain:
• Reflections about the nature of magic made after over a decade of studying and practicing the art in its most genuine and pure form
• Helpful comments on important technical exercises and basic theoretical teachings
• An assessment of the inner inspiration that lies at the heart of magic and brings the art to life.'The Spirit of Magic' contains anecdotes and stories to illustrate important aspects of magical training.
The author’s engaging and straightforward approach offers a serious, yet enjoyable and easily understandable guide for those seeking balanced and steady magical advancement. This book is unique in its approach since it draws upon the full spectrum of life in order to illustrate the most basic and important principles of the sacred art. Hardback copies are also available on the Falcon Books Publishing website: www.falconbookspublishing.com.
Establishing an elemental equilibrium – an inner state in which the elements constituting one’s soul and spirit have been balanced and purified – has long been considered an essential prerequisite for advanced magical work. The master alchemists of the Middle Ages hinted at the importance of this state in their cryptic texts and emblems. The French magician Eliphas Levi considered this state to be the secret to controlling the astral light. Professor Gregory Ottonovich Mёbes taught that this state is the key to acquiring divine authority. Throughout history, numerous occultists have become emotionally unbalanced and mentally deranged because they failed to establish this state within themselves before coming into contact with potent spiritual forces. Due to its importance, several of the more well-known magical orders in history have given their students rituals, meditations, and exercises to aid them in establishing an elemental equilibrium. Unfortunately, many of those practices were of dubious efficacy, and as a result, this state has continued to remain elusive for even the most sincere and dedicated students of magic.
Those who dream of engaging the powers underlying magic or travelling through the inner planes may now do so safely. In this book, Virgil provides a thorough and easily understandable guide to establishing an elemental equilibrium. Upon doing this, any aspiring magician will have acquired the inner balance, strength, and purity needed to practice his art productively and effectively.
For decades, members of the esoteric community have considered anyone with magical skills and abilities to be a magician. As a result, there are few magical training systems designed to turn students into magicians, and many magical training systems designed to turn students into people with magical skills and abilities.
The magical training system developed by the Czech adept Franz Bardon and contained in his three books – Initiation into Hermetics, The Practice of Magical Evocation, and The Key to the True Quabbalah – is designed to turn students into magicians. Unfortunately, many students of the system seek only to become people with magical skills and abilities rather than genuine magicians. For this reason, they often spend years stuck on the system’s basic exercises.
In this book, Virgil discusses some key components of magical training that are hinted at but not expounded upon in the text of Bardon’s books. Completion of these components is what distinguishes people who are magicians from people who merely possess magical skills and abilities. In the process of discussing these components, Virgil also elaborates on magical principles explained in his previous books, offers helpful advice for common problems magicians will encounter during their training, and elucidates one of the most misunderstood exercises of Bardon’s training system.
The Gift to be Simple
Take a moment to close your eyes and imagine an old man sitting in a rocking chair deep in thought. See the dull grey hair on his balding head, the creases on his brow, and the stains on his worn-out shirt. This man is a student of Franz Bardon’s system of magical training, and has been since the day he first came across IIH in his early twenties. As he rocks back and forth, he desperately tries to figure out why he is still stuck on Step 1. Throughout his lifetime, he read many articles about the exercises of IIH, frequently corresponded with renowned Bardon-trained magicians like William Mistele and Rawn Clark, and even supplemented his training with additional exercises from Dzogchen, Huna, and Western esotericism. Yet, despite these efforts, he never did move on to Step 2. With the information contained in this book, you can avoid the fate of the old man you have just pictured. This book will teach you many things that will help you make real progress in your training, including:Why you should throw out all your books on Qabalah .Why you should learn how to practice nishkama karma instead of Golden Dawn rituals like the LBRP.Why you should not draw magical symbols on the cover of your magical journal .Why a rudimentary understanding of economics can help you decide what magical exercises to practice.Why a cryptic statement by a Zen master can help you avoid buying Bardon-related books. Why you should not ask the author of this book questions about the spirits of PME Why the way you urinate affects the speed of your magical advancement.Why writing a particular number on a piece of paper and taping it over your desk can help you train better. In 55 simple and to the point chapters, Virgil covers the common mistakes that keep students stuck on Step 1 their entire lives and discusses the one key principle that underlies all effective approaches to Bardon system training. Note: This book was written specifically for students of Franz Bardon’s system of magical training. While students of other systems are welcome to read it, they may need to adapt the teachings contained herein to fit the systems they study.
As you can see they are extremely thorough as from the reviews on Amazon you can see I am not the only one who thinks so.
Back Door into Hermetics
This is like training with Sifu Mark Rasmus! I know because I have travelled to Thailand and trained with him several times. He gives you as much as you can digest. So this book is wonderful as it is all in there. Yes of course he does go into some aspects more deeply or more hands on in person but you really get a lot for your money with this book. I would say a perfect primer for his online course, a live course, or just a way to refresh your own independent training with some new approaches to IIH. Highly recommended.
The Franz Bardon Tradition: Interviews with Experienced Practitioners
I love interviews as you can see from this blog. So to have a book like this with interviews produced by Falcon Books Publishing is wonderful as I think in these interviews we hear some very detailed explanations about everything from IIH, PME and even KTQ. All in one book with people going similar things but in entirely different ways really shows the diversity of the Franz Bardon system. It can be applied in so many different ways, so getting this book provides you with an idea of just what can be achieved with consistent work. A very inspiring book!
Mastering the Core Teaching of the Buddha
'The very idea that the teachings can be mastered will arouse controversy within Buddhist circles. Even so, Ingram insists that enlightenment is an attainable goal, once our fanciful notions of it are stripped away, and we have learned to use meditation as a method for examining reality rather than an opportunity to wallow in self-absorbed mind-noise. Ingram sets out concisely the difference between concentration-based and insight (vipassana) meditation; he provides example practices; and most importantly he presents detailed maps of the states of mind we are likely to encounter, and the stages we must negotiate as we move through clearly-defined cycles of insight. Its easy to feel overawed, at first, by Ingram's assurance and ease in the higher levels of consciousness, but consistently he writes as a down-to-earth and compassionate guide, and to the practitioner willing to commit themselves this is a glittering gift of a book.In this new edition of the bestselling book, the author rearranges, revises and expands upon the original material, as well as adding new sections that bring further clarity to his ideas.'
I interviewed Daniel on SOFB and I have to say love him or hate him. His book is very interesting and the map of the Jhannas is super useful to a Bardonist as it maps out the stillness. The 4th Jhanna being of particular interest to magicians....
The Mind Illuminated
This is truly huge. It is similar to Daniels book in that it maps out the journey into Stillness. I did a questionnaire years ago for Bardonosts to complete and one of the books repeatedly mentioned was this one. So I immediately got it and found out why.
'A revolutionary, science-based approach to meditation from a neuroscientist turned meditation master, The Mind Illuminated is an accessible, step-by-step toolkit for anyone looking to start—or improve—their daily meditation practice.
The book that bestselling meditation teacher Sharon Salzberg raves “brings the path of meditation to life,” The Mind Illuminated is the first how-to meditation guide from a neuroscientist who is also an acclaimed meditation master. This innovative book offers a 10-stage program that is both deeply grounded in ancient spiritual teachings about mindfulness and holistic health, and also draws from the latest brain science to provide a roadmap for anyone interested in achieving the benefits of mindfulness. Dr. John Yates offers a new and fascinating model of how the mind works, including steps to overcome mind wandering and dullness, extending your attention span while meditating, and subduing subtle distractions.
This groundbreaking manual provides illustrations and charts to help you work through each stage of the process, offering tools that work across all types of meditation practices. The Mind Illuminated is an essential read, whether you are a beginner wanting to establish your practice or a seasoned veteran ready to master the deepest state of peace and mindfulness.'
Not to mention this classic! Written by me, coming soon it is written in a very casual way about my process of going through IIH and focuses on material drawn from Asia to bring some body work to the program. I include multiple training programs inside for balanced development. Expect it soon, how soon depends on how much coffee I can consume.
So that is all for now, I hope some of these books are useful to you and if you decide to purchase any please do so through our links as this will help us pay for the site and general upkeep.