April 20, edited Hi wellI have always been a bit wary of this kind of stuff as liberation as described in the Dharma is what I see as the ultimate goal but also that the Tibetan approches are also something of a toolbox of methods and wondered whether Bardons approach can take you the same way. I like his details and his specific methods to get clear results. I wanted to know if people had managed to stick to IIH instructions and if so what there opinion of the process is, my one concern was about the dangers of getting lost in power and manipulation of forces as to transcend these is the goal. There are certainly ways in which you can get sidetracked, "get lost in power" as many would say. Bardon and Rawn Clark, who also provides some good commentaries says that there are natural safeguards in the system, that people with certain intents will only reach a certain point. There are plenty of other systems that discourage getting involved in any type of things that could get you "lost in power".
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The crucial nature of these elementary, beginning steps is all too often overlooked by other systems and this does an ill service to the novice. True success with magic is built upon a foundation of simple things -- the firmer the foundation, the farther the student will be able to rise. In Step One, the student will find the basics of the rest of the course: Meditation, Introspection and Self-Discipline.
I cannot stress sufficiently how absolutely essential these three things are to genuine magic. The first is titled "Thought Control", but this is sort of a misnomer. What is meant here is not direct, active control of what thoughts arise in your mind; rather, what is referred to is establishing yourself as an active observer of your thoughts.
When the observer-perspective is established, the multitude of thoughts that normally arise, will naturally slow of their own accord. The second type of meditation is titled "Thought Discipline" and has two phases of practice.
The first phase is enacted in day-to-day life and involves disciplining your thoughts so that they pertain only to the task at hand. The second phase of the practice is performed as a normal meditation i. Here, one chooses a single thought and shuns the intrusion of all other thoughts.
It is best, in this instance, to begin with a simple, captivating thought. Each time your mind wanders, bring it firmly back to the chosen thought. The third type of meditation is titled "Mastery of Thoughts" and involves the attainment of a vacancy of mind or an absence of thoughts.
For those unfamiliar with meditation, this is often the most difficult task. It requires a good deal of will power and persistent effort.
When thoughts intrude, you must learn to willfully shun them and regain your emptiness. I assure you that this is not an impossible task! In the initial exercises of Step One, Bardon describes three sorts of mental discipline or meditation. The first type involves merely observing what goes on in your mind. Given time and repeated practice, you will notice that the flow of thoughts naturally slows down. But what is really happening is that you are re-tuning your mind to another, less cluttered, level of mentation.
This is not something that you can force, so it does little good at this stage to be blocking certain thoughts while letting others through, etc.
These sorts of incidents can distract your attention from the observance of your thoughts. While such occurrences are not within your ability to control, your response to them is within your control.
So, you must learn how to quickly dismiss these distractions and refocus your attention to the task at hand. At first this may be difficult, but with persistent practice, your ability to refocus will become so quick and absolute that such external events will no longer distract; or rather, the distraction will be so brief that it will not interrupt your practice.
Another sort of distraction is that you will be tempted to pursue the thoughts that arise in your mind. The point here however, is to distance yourself from involvement with your individual thoughts -- you are to be only an observer, not a participator.
At first, this is also very difficult, but with persistent practice, you will learn how to distance yourself and observe.
No matter how difficult this exercise may at first be for you, do not give up. This is an essential precursor to the exercises which follow. You already possess the natural, generally unconscious, ability to do everything taught in IIH -- all that the training does is bring what has previously been unconscious, into the realm of a conscious ability. The second type of mental discipline or meditation described in Step One, concerns the one-pointedness of mind.
Here you focus your thoughts upon a single idea and shun all other intruding thoughts. This practice eventually re-tunes the mind to a still higher level of mentation.
If you have learned to manage external distractions with relative ease and have reached the state of an observer of your quieted mind, then all you have to do here is select a single thought and focus solely upon it. The sorts of distraction you will encounter here is the intrusion of associated and non-associated thoughts, and the habit that your mind has of involving itself in these extraneous thoughts. If we consider the analogy of re-tuning the mind, it becomes obvious that the mind functions in predictable ways at each frequency.
At the frequency of our normal day-to-day lives, thoughts come with great frequency and variety, and we exercise little control over them. At the frequency of the observer, the mind contains fewer thoughts, but the mind itself is still also functioning at the level of the day-to-day. The observer exercise merely shifts the focus onto another frequency, it does not make the day-to-day frequency disappear altogether.
The same is true of the one-pointedness frequency -- the observer and the day-to-day frequencies still exist, only the mind is now tuned to a higher frequency. Dealing with the intrusion of unwanted thoughts during the one-pointedness exercise is much like the management of external distractions you learned during the observer exercise. Part of getting your mind tuned into the correct frequency for one-pointedness, involves learning how to quickly dismiss these extraneous thoughts and refocus your attention.
The more you do it, the quicker it becomes, and eventually, it happens so quickly that these distractions no longer interrupt your exercise. Do not "battle" the natural workings of your mind as this leads only to frustration. The best tact is to coax your mind. You control your mind, not the other way around, and all you need do is take the control that you already have and make it a more conscious thing.
Again, do not give up if at first you fail. This is also a vitally important ability to master for the future exercises. The third and final type of mental discipline or meditation covered in Step One, involves the emptying of the mind "vacancy of mind".
If you have sufficiently mastered the dismissal of distractions in the previous two exercises and learned how to limit your mind to a single thought, then reaching an emptiness of mind is the next logical step.
This is still only a higher frequency of mentation, but it is a very difficult one to tune into unless you have mastered the observer and the one-pointedness exercises. Perhaps the easiest way to reach the emptiness of mind is to go by stages. First reduce your mind to a single thought and then eliminate even that thought. If you are facile with the dismissal of distractions, then the distractions at this level will be quickly managed.
Before progressing to the Step Two exercises, you should have made good headway with your emptiness of mind exercises. Even a small few minutes of true emptiness will suffice to begin with but you must constantly improve upon this initial success if you wish to make headway further along the course of IIH.
This is a basic magical technique which serves as a foundation for the rest of the work -- without this degree of mental discipline, many things are impossible in magic. I recommend that on your first trial of each exercise, you do not bother counting your distractions.
Focus instead upon managing them. In the case of the first exercise with the observer perspective, after you get the hang of it, start counting your external distractions -- the ones that actually interfere with your exercise. With the other exercises concerning the one-pointedness and the emptiness of mind, count all the distractions that interrupt your flow of consciousness.
Again, count only those that actually serve to interrupt you. Counting and keeping track of your disruptions is not a necessary part of mastering these exercises. Its only importance is when it comes to gauging your progress. It can be very beneficial to be able to compare how many interruptions you experienced yesterday or last week, to how many you encountered today.
By making these connections, you will be able to see exactly how much progress you have made. In Step Two, Bardon mentions using a string of beads or knots to keep count of your interruptions during your exercises. This is a good technique once you get used to it.
Eventually, counting off another bead or knot becomes second nature and takes no interruptive thought at all. Five minutes is one of those "at least" sort of goals. It is an arbitrary, but nonetheless good, rule to follow. The idea is not that you should strictly adhere to exactly five minutes; rather, the idea is that you should set a goal that is beyond the reach of your normal activity and one which will take a certain degree of commitment to attain.
Never be satisfied with five minutes as the ultimate, end all goal -- always push beyond this limit. It can if you let it be. The way I work is I give the exercise a go and when I reach the state required, I flow with it for as long as I am comfortable with.
Another tact is to work at it until I suffer a major interruption. At that point, I open my eyes and check to see how long I went before I was interrupted. When I find that at least five minutes have passed before I was interrupted and that I can go for the same amount of time consistently, I then feel comfortable in assuming that I have attained my first goal.
How you measure your time is up to you and requires only a little inventiveness. The problem with this is that I must remember what time it was when I started. Another alternative is to use a simple stopwatch, but that requires starting and stopping. All in all, use whatever method works best for you and affords the least interruption possible.
Astral: In my opinion, this process of establishing the positive and negative soul mirrors is THE most important phase of initiation. The repercussions of this form of self-analysis will be felt throughout the entire life of the student and will be of great benefit regardless of how far into the Steps of IIH one penetrates.
What is required here is a radical self-honesty. Doing this may be very troubling as you face up to parts of yourself that are unappealing. Thus, it is a good idea to be especially kind to yourself as you go through the process of introspection.
Treat yourself to enjoyable activities and pastimes that you might not otherwise entertain. Remember that the unsavory parts that you uncover are simply who you are at this moment in time -- never forget that you have the power to change these parts of yourself!
The point of this exercise is not to simply make you fell bad about yourself, but rather, it is to clearly define where you must begin in the process of self-change. If you do not have a clear grasp upon who you really are, then you have no reliable means of knowing what you wish to become, nor little means of getting there.
In this process of self-change, the student transforms what is already present into something better. It is not a method which simply rids your personality of its negative aspects.
Instead, it takes the energy of a negative aspect and changes it into a comparable positive manifestation. Here nothing is discarded or lost -- it is all transformed. In the Step One work, the focus is upon taking stock.
The crucial nature of these elementary, beginning steps is all too often overlooked by other systems and this does an ill service to the novice. True success with magic is built upon a foundation of simple things -- the firmer the foundation, the farther the student will be able to rise. In Step One, the student will find the basics of the rest of the course: Meditation, Introspection and Self-Discipline. I cannot stress sufficiently how absolutely essential these three things are to genuine magic. The first is titled "Thought Control", but this is sort of a misnomer. What is meant here is not direct, active control of what thoughts arise in your mind; rather, what is referred to is establishing yourself as an active observer of your thoughts.
Franz Bardon—true guide or deceiver?
Bardon was rescued by Soviet soldiers who raided the camp. Bardon continued his work in the fields of Hermetics until when he was arrested and imprisoned in Brno , Czechoslovakia. Bardon died from pancreatitis on 10 July while in the custody of police. An additional fourth work attributed to him by the title of Frabato the Magician, supposed by many of his students to be a disguised autobiography.