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Thoughts on Bardon's Initiation Into Hermetics?

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Thoughts on Bardon's Initiation Into Hermetics?
shinzen magick shamanism siddhi powers bardon
Answer
10/24/19 6:39 AM
Hi,

I was wondering what you guys thought about Franz Bardon's book "Initiation Into Hermetics".

Has any of you used that training system as a means to cultivate the powers?
With what results? What are its drawbacks?

As Shinzen puts it in his book "The Science of Enligtenment", I'm attracted to "an oblique path (...), where you move into the realm of power and toward the Source simultaneously and at the same speed".

Any thoughts will be appreciated. Thanks!

RE: Thoughts on Bardon's Initiation Into Hermetics?
Answer
10/24/19 8:51 PM as a reply to Dixon Hill.
Thanks for posting this, the subject matter is fascinating and quite relevant to some of the vissudhimagga study i've been up to. Will have to get back to this post wayyyyy later however. 

RE: Thoughts on Bardon's Initiation Into Hermetics?
Answer
10/25/19 1:57 PM as a reply to Dixon Hill.
Here's what I wrote a year ago on Reddit, concerning the same topic:

As a teenager I got interested in spirituality through books like the one you mentioned. Bardon used to be what Culadasa is for me now. I tried to practice IIH, without much success. After some time I became a hardcore atheist and skeptic. Then, years later, being interested in psychology, I stumbled across meditation, and eventually TMI. That was a fundamental shift - I realised that I could bring together my old deep passion for spirituality, on the one hand, and scientific approach on the other (like Sam Harris did). So, adding meditation into a skeptic/materialist framework of reality.

My materialism was rooted in my confidence in the scientific community, but that confidence has been weakened by the fact that most of the academic elite is unaware of importance of meditation and spirituality for a person's well-being. So, when I realised that all of the leading members in the meditation "community" I currently follow actually believe in parapsychological phenomena, that shook my world view. Especially the fact that they don't promote or sell these ideas - they just mention them sporadically, in very convincing anecdotes. All of them - Culadasa, Shinzen, Ingram... You can read in MCTB2, Daniel talks about f-ing demons... and my reaction was - wtf is this? I could somehow swallow things like interconnectedness of minds (because you could assume that maybe quantum physics can explain it), but magickal entites, angels, demons, gnomes, fairies? I felt scared of the possibility that my world view could fall apart. Shinzen mentions demons in his book like it's a totally normal thing, Culadasa said he is not sure whether entities are real or hallucinations, but regardless he spent years communicating with them, doing shamanic practices etc.

I am not saying that I believe all of that right now, but there are things that made me think about that. Just like we share our meditation experiences here, there are people that share their experiences with magick on other forums, with a similar level of dedication and seriousness. When you read their stories, it is hard not to at least consider whether there is something to them. Ancient texts such as Visuddhimagga describe how to develop siddhis (magick) in the same detailed manner like they describe how to meditate. Maybe it's all superstition, but I am not so sure anymore - most skeptics would write-off entire Visuddhimagga as a superstiton in the same way. You mentioned Bardon - his book is written with sincere and methodic style very similar to TMI. That also made me think.

So I decided to let go of attachment to strictly materialist framework; whether it is "correct" or not, it is better not to cling to it. Every world view is a fabrication of mind afterall.

However, as Buddha said, magick is an off-track - it doesn't lead to the end of suffering, it is just a skill like any other (if it exists). It seems to me that many people who chose to take the "magickal" route fall in some kind of void - they start seeing everything as supernatural, become paranoid, delusional and detached from stability of the "normal" perception. It is potentially destabilizing. I think that everyone needs a healthy dose of skepticism and scientific mindset. Culadasa and Shinzen have that, and that is the reason they reached so many people, including us.

RE: Thoughts on Bardon's Initiation Into Hermetics?
Answer
10/31/19 11:36 AM as a reply to Dixon Hill.
Dixon Hill:
Hi,

I was wondering what you guys thought about Franz Bardon's book "Initiation Into Hermetics".

Has any of you used that training system as a means to cultivate the powers?
With what results? What are its drawbacks?

As Shinzen puts it in his book "The Science of Enligtenment", I'm attracted to "an oblique path (...), where you move into the realm of power and toward the Source simultaneously and at the same speed".

Any thoughts will be appreciated. Thanks!
My thoughts are, it's just ok. As a practical program it introduces you to a good set of nicely embodied work, but it's mixed in with some misinterpretations (including "meditation means sitting still without thinking"), some bizarre pseudo-scientific theories about why the practices work, and weird sidetracks like "if you master breathing with the fire element you can set a piece of paper on fire with your mind." Altogether I'd say if you hold it very lightly and look at it as a handbook you can pick up or put down, it's not bad. Some practices, like the aforementioned pore breathing, are rare in Western magical texts outside of this one.

RE: Thoughts on Bardon's Initiation Into Hermetics?
Answer
11/1/19 12:07 AM as a reply to Dixon Hill.
Hello old friend,

Thank you for sharing this gem! 
I feel that akin to many other great minds, he still fell short of "ultimate" "divine"  "truth"... He fell for the false sense of awakening meme. Franz Bardon had a limited scope of reality that instead of being deconstructed, just refined it more and more. Like Elon Musk, the creator of SpaceX, co-founder & product innovator of Tesla, co-founder of neuralink, chairman of openAi, the man paving the way to establishing the first human colony on mars REFUSING to explore meditation because it frightens the poor baby emoticon
or Srinivasa Ramanujan, Indian mathematician whom we thank for his contribution to Number Theory, Infinite Series, and describing the mathematical backbone to a curvature in space before even Einstein's birth. He had no formal education and just knew functions through his religious intuition. He refused to accept anything outside the religious field.
Jaggi Vasudev, an enlightened fellow who knows life only through experience. He remains in conference with the greatest minds in the world, physicists, economic elites, psychologists, neuroscientists, all the while never having attended any type of schooling.
And Wim Hof of course, who has managed to activate the brain's perceptual systems through breathing techniques, but couldn't be bothered with the sorcery that is quantum mechanics.
All I'm saying is that maybe we all got to a point where we saw that all the world's religions had made some sort of sense. but radicals and devotees muddied it up for the rest of us. It's the same for the sciences, new findings should always be considered because in order to be published they must go through rigorous peer-reviews. Yeah science is just a human fabrication to make sense of the world and give reality labels and it's not always correct, it's just a piece of the puzzle. Too many people are investing too much energy into just one field of study. Meditation is also just one field of investigation in its own rites. Think of how many branches there are in Geometry. 

Brandon Franz kept his meditation practice to a surface level. Closing your eyes and narrating your habits over to yourself is only one method of meditation. These are just for developing one's character, for exploring your emotions, to discover impulses, to work things out within yourself. For these, the practitioner shouldn't be trying to reach sensate awareness or trying to have any transcendental experience. There are distinct forms of meditation for synthesizing DMT, for harnessing chakras, for projecting consciousness.  

And then there are institutions of people who remain Buddhist but don't explore Native American forms of meditation or Russian Yoga. Taoists that think Buddhists are silly emoticon Proportions of Meditators and Professors that disregard Psychedelics. Buddhists that disregard Spirituality/Mysticism. Spiritual communities that deny humanity/the human condition

In Chapter 7, Bardon refers to "akasa" as what the worlds religions deem as "God". Going by his definition of God, I can name 3 more Gods. Our ears transmute sound waves into vibrations that are then transformed into electrical signals. The piercing ring can be followed, split, attention can be shifted between the high frequencies and the lower. This can be followed, stretched, contorted, split further. At the end is the cessation of the sound, but also an echo of itself and its own creation. Hindu religions personify this phenomenon as a God. Concentration and stillness is required to attain the state necessary. To native Americans, enlightenment branches away from the 4th Jhana and enters mystical territory. Projecting one's consciousness into animals and structures requires one to develop a visual God, or a planck length of light. Behind closed eyes one must use concentration, imagination, and an understanding of physics to harness a "pixel" of energy. I don't know the Buddhist terminology for this but think of Kassina meditation. Another God is the personification of a quantum event. Particles oscillate back and forth in space, creating a wave disruption known as a wave function. This wave function re-interacts with the particle creating a frequency preventing it from breaking the space. The Yogic sciences explain how to reintegrate and unify with the divine through practices that deepen stillness.

Again, thanks for introducing me to this piece of art! I'm eager to read more

RE: Thoughts on Bardon's Initiation Into Hermetics?
Answer
11/2/19 12:45 AM as a reply to Dixon Hill.
I'll get to the point so please bear with me.

There are 5 complexes

  1. The physical body and the mental body: the body is just a collection over a period of time, not our true essence. The mental body includes what you'd expect. The mind, ego, identity, habitual patterns, memory, intellect, intelligence, the ten fetters are embodied here.
  2. The Karmic body: True karma is information. The forces of cause & effect are only one aspect... Action and result are a consequence of Karma. This reservoir of information is found as genetic memory. The information stored in DNA and passed along the germline, the egg and the sperm cell. This is built upon the lives of many generations before you. A quick example is someone who eats a high inflammatory diet and develops type two diabetes. If this person has offspring, his children will be predisposed to type 1 diabetes. Epigenetic marks not only change the expression of genes but can also be passed down from one generation to the next. The brain shouldn't be given too much importance as a single double strand of DNA holds more information than the brain can hope to capture.
  3. The electrical body: The vital force and the body governing chakras and energies. Not all chakras (call them whatever you like) are inside the body. This field is responsible for electromagnetic forces.
  4. The ethereal body: These are the subatomic elements and particles that make you up.
  5. Pure consciousness: The source of creation, pure intelligence emoticon Not to be confused with "spirit" or "soul"

Initiation into Hermetics is largely based on interpreting the 4th body but spills over into the 3rd. It also briefly touches aspects of the 1st.
If you want to truly understand the work in question, it would work to one's benefit going over and educating oneself in the periodic table of elements and the microcosm of the human ecosystem. It also helps to understand the anatomy of an atom, protons, quarks, neutrons and such. Harnessing the powers loosely alludes to cultivating the capacity for magnetoreception. I've been hoping for some light to be shed on the fourth body so thanks again, much love

RE: Thoughts on Bardon's Initiation Into Hermetics?
Answer
11/13/19 10:20 AM as a reply to Dixon Hill.
Soo I couldn't quite get through the whole thing because of the strange "scientific" explanations. I found the sensory cultivation training fascinating though and possibly quite useful for LD and AP dream practices. Also for habit formation changes.