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Magick and The Powers

Practicing with jhanas and resolutions

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I recently had the chance to practice with resolutions while on a jhana retreat, and I thought some might be interested in the results.

I used the section on Magick and the Powers from MCTB to provide the basic procedure. In practice it went like this:

1. Enter jhana
2. Carefully get up to the highest jhana I could attain
3. Exit the jhana
4. Let the intentions fly

I knew beforehand which intentions I wanted to work with. They all had to do with motivation and marshalling my resources to follow through on upcoming projects that are important to me. Nothing like “may I win the lottery” or “may so-and-so fall head-over-heels in love with me.” It was all directed toward sharpening my mind and resilience as I go into a period of transition. Though as you’ll see, as I got higher into the jhanas, the resolutions automatically changed and took on a different character.

My first experience with a resolution came after I got the 3rd jhana. I came out of the jhana, stood up, stared straight ahead at a spot on the wall, and made the resolution.

There were a couple of peculiar things about this. First, making a declaration like this right after coming out of the jhana felt less like declaring an intention and more like stating a fact. I recognized it was a declaration about the future but the feeling was more like stating something that had already taken place.

The second weird thing was that the spot on the wall I was staring at vibrated, distorted, and began to disappear as I was making the declaration. It was like I was speaking through the wall. This was weird, but it didn’t really bother me. (Probably also lends weight to the idea of a connection between 3rd jhana and the 5th nana.)

As my jhana practice strengthened, and especially as I crossed the threshold into 4th jhana, something interesting started happening. The resolution would come, but now it was things more like, “May I be free,” or “May I have peace.” And then almost as an afterthought would come the other stuff I had initially intended to declare.

On the last full day of the retreat, a very strong 4th jhana arose. I sat in it a long time, during which some insights into the 3Cs began to very naturally occur. Suddenly I was “kicked out” of the jhana. The breath and body, which had been backgrounded since entry into the 1st jhana, again rushed into the foreground, so that I was very aware of being seated in a chair in a room. After a one second pause, a feeling of peace washed over me, tingles rushing up both sides of my body, and fireworks behind my eyes. I’m pretty sure I made a resolution in the wake of this fruition, but I don’t remember what it was. Any sense of volition at this point felt like an interruption, so maybe that’s why I don’t remember.

So, here’s my takeaway from this. The higher you get up into the jhanas, the more powerful resolutions feel. They begin to feel more like statements of fact rather than things you’re merely wishing for. And the power of the resolution is reflected in unusual sensory phenomena, like the room vibrating or crumbling with the invocation of the intention.

However, as you get into the 3rd jhana and especially as you get into the 4th jhana, your individual will is becoming effaced. The resolutions still come, and they have at least as much strength as they did before, but they’re coming from a place in oneself which seems more anonymous, more detached, and probably wiser. At least in my own case, they began to resemble the brahmamviharas.

My suspicion is that the part of the mind that’s making the resolutions after 4th jhana is a part of the mind that is understanding fundamental reality in such a way that it’s wishing for things that are bound to happen anyway (given the nature of the results of the practice).

That’s a potential explanation. I don’t know if it’s true.

Does anyone else have experience with this practice?

RE: Practicing with jhanas and resolutions
Answer
8/5/13 10:59 AM as a reply to Fitter Stoke.
The closest thing I've done like the powers you mention was to use insight by doing tasks and feeling aversion but because of the insight practice of bare attention it passes away quickly enough and you just get on with it. The pomodoro technique is similar in forcing concentration but the key to it is making goals/tasks/resolutions that are not too short or to long in duration to keep the motivation going. If the goal is big it needs to be broken down to smaller tasks. I've marked down many X's in my time boxing with this method on huge tasks that take hours and you feel less rewarded when you finally get to the end.

What you describe sounds interesting and I would like to try it out with projects and tasks. The "making people fall in love with you or win the lottery" goals, are a turn off for me as well.

RE: Practicing with jhanas and resolutions
Answer
8/13/13 1:56 AM as a reply to Fitter Stoke.
I do this kind of practice. I find that if 90% of my resolutions are for "big stuff" to help everyone then the 10% that are personal requests are much more powerful. I write out the resolutions ahead of time so that I can read them off when I let my intentions fly. I know that this kind of "reality creation" really does work because I've seen it work in the small scale many times and therefor I know that it must also have a strong effect on large scale resolutions. Mine are very specific and are all things that I can actually imagine happening. I really do feel that I am shifting the probability of these events occurring. I will give you a few examples of real resolutions that I have done after intense practice in hopes that they may inspire some of you:

"Within 10 years the global population will massively restrain corporate power both legally and materially. The yoke of burden will pass from the shoulders of the global population to the shoulders of the most environmentally destructive business corporations. These destructive corporations will help pay for massive infrastructure projects and environmental cleanup efforts, they will learn to serve humanity and to help preserve the ecosystem, and help preserve the stability of the global economy. Corporations which are exploitive of their global workforce or do not provide safe working conditions and a living wage for all employees will have restrictions placed on their access to first world markets. "

"The public within America and globally will come to learn about how the United States government is failing to regulate the pharmaceutical industry in an effective manor, and how market considerations rather than medical needs are governing the medical research agenda. Within five years the collusion between the pharmaceutical industry and governmental agencies will be eliminated and all private sector medical corporations and interest groups will be well regulated. The FDA will come under intense public scrutiny and many of it's policies and procedures will be changed as it becomes throughly insulated from corporate interests. Many past FDA decisions will be reversed and many drugs which have valid medical uses such as Cannabis, Ibogaine, and MDMA will be removed from the various schedules which apply to the Controlled Substances Act (CSA)."

"The systemic fraud within the financial sector in both the governmental and corporate spheres will be eliminated in a way which does not cause the breakdown of modern civilization. Regulations will be put into place in order to prevent large scale financial fraud. Strategic secret oil reserves and other pools of hidden resources may be leveraged in order to balance the economy while the financial sector is being reformed. "

"May my next door neighbor find her lost cat"

"In The United States of America a growing awareness of the imminent danger that the United Nations presents to the national sovereignty of the United States will result in effective laws being passed which prevent the United States of America from complying with UN programs which would violate US law. "

"The practice by governmental agencies of detaining United States citizens and holding them without due process will cease. All U.S. Citizens will be tried in an open trial in U.S. district court not military tribunals. "

"May I find a new apartment with a fair price in a nice location with good parking"


etc, etc, etc.

RE: Practicing with jhanas and resolutions
Answer
8/13/13 1:02 PM as a reply to Hermetically Sealed.
Hermetically Sealed:
I do this kind of practice. I find that if 90% of my resolutions are for "big stuff" to help everyone then the 10% that are personal requests are much more powerful. I write out the resolutions ahead of time so that I can read them off when I let my intentions fly. I know that this kind of "reality creation" really does work because I've seen it work in the small scale many times and therefor I know that it must also have a strong effect on large scale resolutions. Mine are very specific and are all things that I can actually imagine happening. I really do feel that I am shifting the probability of these events occurring.

HS, I'm right there with you on this. (We need to talk off forum sometime, as we are both fighting the same foe. Joined together, with others of like mind, we can have a greater effect on how things evolve.)

I tell people to experiment with resolutions all the time, but have the impression that most simply don't accept that it can have any effect.

I've had similar experiences to the ones you outline above.

Hermetically Sealed:

I will give you a few examples of real resolutions that I have done after intense practice in hopes that they may inspire some of you:

"Within 10 years the global population will massively restrain corporate power both legally and materially. The yoke of burden will pass from the shoulders of the global population to the shoulders of the most environmentally destructive business corporations. These destructive corporations will help pay for massive infrastructure projects and environmental cleanup efforts, they will learn to serve humanity and to help preserve the ecosystem, and help preserve the stability of the global economy. Corporations which are exploitive of their global workforce or do not provide safe working conditions and a living wage for all employees will have restrictions placed on their access to first world markets."

"The public within America and globally will come to learn about how the United States government is failing to regulate the pharmaceutical industry in an effective manor, and how market considerations rather than medical needs are governing the medical research agenda. Within five years the collusion between the pharmaceutical industry and governmental agencies will be eliminated and all private sector medical corporations and interest groups will be well regulated. The FDA will come under intense public scrutiny and many of it's policies and procedures will be changed as it becomes thoroughly insulated from corporate interests. Many past FDA decisions will be reversed and many drugs which have valid medical uses such as Cannabis, Ibogaine, and MDMA will be removed from the various schedules which apply to the Controlled Substances Act (CSA)."

"The systemic fraud within the financial sector in both the governmental and corporate spheres will be eliminated in a way which does not cause the breakdown of modern civilization. Regulations will be put into place in order to prevent large scale financial fraud. Strategic secret oil reserves and other pools of hidden resources may be leveraged in order to balance the economy while the financial sector is being reformed. "

"In The United States of America a growing awareness of the imminent danger that the United Nations presents to the national sovereignty of the United States will result in effective laws being passed which prevent the United States of America from complying with UN programs which would violate US law. "

"The practice by governmental agencies of detaining United States citizens and holding them without due process will cease. All U.S. Citizens will be tried in an open trial in U.S. district court not military tribunals."

We're both on the same page here, except that I'm dealing with the physical world more so than the world of mental resolutions. That is not to say that resolutions cannot have an effect. Only that as I view it, we need to get more people on board in the physical world who can then help with the resolution end of the deal. This is going to take a concerted effort of many more minds banding together in a united effort if we are to have a positive and palpable effect.

If you have an interesting in discussing this more, PM me and I will reply ASAP.