Archive for the Mysticism Category

Baseless

Posted in Asceticism, Buddhism, Fighting, genius, God(s), karma, martial arts, Monasticism, Mysticism, Philosophy, Reality Bites, Religion, society, tai chi, taijiquan, Ultimate Reality with tags , , , , on January 21, 2010 by wizardsmoke

So, the big question on everyone’s my mind is whether or not martial arts teachers, yoga instructors, and their religious gurus are “enlightened”. In stuff like Tibetan guru yoga, you are supposed to view your teacher as enlightened — sometimes even if they aren’t. It’s part of the practice. I don’t do it, but it makes sense as a practice, in order to discover your belief is malleable and useful to that end. There is no god(s) if you don’t believe in them, and vice versa.

Although Taijiquan is my big psycho-physical investment at the moment, I am willing to believe it’s not the same spiritual ace-in-the-hole for other people. How could it be so? People need to be unique, independent. But at the same time, the big problem of human existence is social friction. How do we deal with other people? This is a big portion of Jean-Paul Sartre’s philosophy: the existence of another creates a new perception of oneself and one’s surroundings. They are no longer a portion of selfless existence, but exist in contrast to oneself.

Amidst others, we seek to validate our own views, yet for what reason? There is opposition to all views, and human reason and rationale is endless. It is supremely difficult to co-exist with others in peace. And peace is a difficult subject to address, because the moment it is broached and given our conscious attention, it ceases to exist. It is simply the absence of conflict, and the absence of selfish views. But that’s too often misconstrued as being a doormat.

The other strange thing is that, although Taijiquan or dream yoga or Alexander technique or Zen or Sufi or Benedictine chant or whatever else may work for some people, these practices are not guarantors of ability or insight. They are more like rocket boosters that can change one’s mental, physical or spiritual trajectory, but the original trajectory for real insight has to be there in the first place. Those are prior causes, the manifestation of which is natural genius. But then for some reason, hard work seems way more important.

Open heart forgery

Posted in Fighting, martial arts, meditation, Mysticism, Philosophy, Powermongers, propaganda, Reality Bites, self-help, The Arts, World of Emotions with tags , , , , , on December 21, 2009 by wizardsmoke

I am a fan of Hatsumi’s books. He is a good writer — an artist; he is able to make you think existence has a purpose. Cool stuff, I admire his work.

I remember I showed his books to a friend and then took him to a Bujinkan class, to which he responded like a real wise-ass: the Bujinkan that can be spoken is not the true Bujinkan. Hatsumi writes beautifully and shares his dream narrative with you; he can make himself desirable to others; he is an artist. But the budo he teaches does not bestowe the same skills as his ability to appeal to you, or yours to accept him.

In social status, and especially in business, much of what makes a person successful is their self-presentation. The rock star’s charisma is what makes them a success, not the music. The music is the background canvas that works once people are receptive to the personal spectacle. In society, talent alone does not create status or ensure survival. What is more useful is ambition, energy, the ability to make people comfortable and laugh, and to speak to their heart.

The bodily arts are interesting, for they take root in the heart immediately. They quickly effect our social presentation.
Martial arts is a discipline which, like dance, is kinesthetic. And the kinesthetic learner is the genius of the arts. And martial arts have mostly become arts, rather than trades, in danger of dying out for lack of necessity.

And so I have seen tons of great artists (martial and otherwise) without the clever endearing qualities in which they can sell themselves to the masses. How strange, that the ability to successful endear oneself to others is an artistic quality, and has no bearing on one’s actual talent or skill in the field being extrapolated. But people without a desire to sell themselves are less likely to seek financial gain from your interaction.

The entertainer does not merely entertain, but rather creates an illusory personality for the world to desire. And like in the world of business, where a compromised upbeat persona is created to angle profitable transactions, the conjured entertainer becomes a necessary function of the art, and soon one loses track of where their own identity lies.

But, whateva.

Forever real

Posted in Asceticism, Buddhism, love, Magick, martial arts, meditation, Mysticism, New Age Baloney, Occult, Religion, Ultimate Reality with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 29, 2009 by wizardsmoke

What’s the best thing to do with your time? To become real. But what does that even mean?

Well, as my friend pointed out, it’s the process of making the story you tell yourself — the idealized you, a tangible reality, where there is no delay or separation between your perception of self and the objective self that interacts with the world around oneself. This is the real goal of studying and practicing magic, martial arts, or a religion. They all have different means of achieving this, stimulating different paths of awareness through the body or the mind, but they aim to get to this point. A crappy curriculum of path is one that does not actually have this in the syllabus.

But just because the aforementioned methods are ways of reaching this, they are no guarantee. Most folks practicing these things are floating around helplessly just like anyone doing anything in this world. Plus, what is the ultimate point of enlightenment, or total cessation of attachments and cravings? Well, there is no point in the tangible sense, because it is the place where points are dissolved entirely. And I think I heard Ajahn Brahm say, enlightenment is actually very boring.

When people create the causes for enlightenment, as they describe in Buddhism, by laying down good karma — a good rhythm, to attaining nirvana in this life or the next, they are effectively embedding the rhythm toward that experience or dissolution of enlightenment into the intrinsic fabric of their being and mental developments. Thus the desire becomes inherent to the self-clinging being taking birth and the enlightenment is no longer such a blatant desire. If the drive toward enlightenment is buried deeply enough and forgotten (made automatic), one begins to simply manifest it, now and forever. It will sneak up on you, create an innate moral quality, guide you from beyond your intellect.

Desire is blatant and therefore must be sublimated to the subconscious to really become effective in one’s life. If one can burn out the desire for enlightenment by going in the right direction towards that experience, they are creating good causes. They are pushing enlightenment into their mind until they manifest it fully. But it has to happen subtly — big enlightenment experiences are usually the stuff ambitious crackpots or intermediate students. You don’t go to heaven, you grow into heaven, to borrow a phrase from the old-school New-Ager, Edgar Cayce. Enlightenment comes to you throughout your whole life, like the expanding, full-on deafening roar of water crashing toward you through a tunnel. Every kind of understanding happens like this, until we’re floating in the water, which is our experience made reality.

Reader Feedback

Posted in Buddhism, meditation, Mysticism, Religion, Wizard Quotes on October 23, 2009 by wizardsmoke

From the mailbag…

Q: I finished reading hardcore zen and wanted to know what your meditation practices are and how seriously you take zen buddhism as far as a way to the truth.

Smoke: I read Hardcore Zen too. Brad Warner is a cool dude. I used to follow his blog a lot, he used to write more stuff on it before he was promoting his books. Zen seems pretty sweet, and I don’t believe any method is the best. Tibetan Buddhists seem to say theirs is the best more than most other Buddhist people do, because they have all this magical stuff in it that’s really similar to western Hermetics and occultism. But religions are all conspiracy theories on some level, haha!

But there is secret stuff in lots of lineages, branches of Chinese and Japanese Buddhism, Shintoism and Daoism, Yogic/Hindu traditions, as well as Christian and Jewish traditions. Basically they only teach “secret” higher level practices to the next generation of lineage holders — people they can ensure will maintain the tradition to the fullest quality. It’s easy to cheapen something by selling or giving it to everyone and thus no one will really maintain it for the right reasons.

I really like the Buddhist teachers Ajahn Chah, Thanissaro Bhikkhu (both Theravada), as well as Taisen Deshimaru, who was one of Brad Warner’s teachers’ senior classmates. Basically I think it’s a matter of finding the style that fits a person the best, and a good teacher. Like, if I were in a small town, I’d probably just try to find the best martial arts teacher regardless of style, but in a city I would find the MA that fit with my body/personality and find the best teacher within that.

In case you didn’t know already…

Posted in Magick, Mysticism, New Age Baloney, Occult, Ultimate Reality, Wizard Quotes with tags , , , on September 23, 2009 by wizardsmoke

“Magic is quite often mistaken for sorcery. At this point I shall briefly explain the difference between magic and sorcery. A true magician relies completely upon the universal laws; he knows their cause and effect and he works consciously with these powers, whereas the sorcerer avails himself of powers the origin of which he knows not at all, although he does know that this or that will occur when he sets this or that power into motion. But he has no idea as to any other context of these matters, because he lacks the knowledge of the universal laws. Even though he may have partial knowledge of one law or another, he does not know the analogous context of the universal laws, their effects, how they develop and how and where they prevail, because a sorcerer does not possess the necessary maturity.

In contrast, a true magician, one who does not want to descend to the level of a sorcerer, would never embark upon any endeavor until he thoroughly understands what he is doing. Even a sorcerer can make use of the secret sciences and do one thing or another with good or evil intentions. In this case, it is irrelevant whether he employs positive or negative powers, for it does not entitle him to consider himself a magician.

By way of contrast once again, a charlatan is a person who is trying to deceive other people, and therefore he cannot be considered either a magician or a sorcerer. In common parlance such a person would simply be called a fraud or a con man. Charlatans like to boast of their high magical knowledge, which of course they do not possess, and they like to veil themselves in mystery, but only to conceal their ignorance.

These are the people who are responsible for true magical knowledge being so distorted and disgraced. A true magician does not identify himself through mysterious behavior or external splendor; on the contrary, he is modest and he endeavors at all times to help humankind and to explain magical knowledge to mature human beings. In order not to disgrace this holy knowledge, it should be understandable that the magician will not entrust any of the Mysteries to an immature person. A true magician will never display his true magical knowledge by any external demeanor. A true magician cannot be distinguished from an average citizen, because he adapts to every person, to every occasion and to every situation. His magical authority is internal, and therefore it is not necessary for him to shine externally.”

Franz Bardon, intro to The Practice of Magical Evocation

Astral Adams

Posted in God(s), Magick, meditation, Mysticism, New Age Baloney, Occult, Paganism, Religion, Ultimate Reality with tags , , , , on August 23, 2009 by wizardsmoke

I am as sick as you are of hearing “present moment awareness” paraded around as some tepid mantra. But the reason is that maintaining “present-moment awareness” leads to something deeper, where you’re perceiving the present moment before it physically happens — before it is reflected in the mind. Like, deep present awareness dissolves the sensory and physical boundaries of time-space perception.

The place where demons and other astral beings dwell is often in those gaps between our present-moment awareness. Every time we have a distraction or are manipulated by something, we become prey to outside entities or influences. When we project our own illusions or desires somewhere else, outside of the present moment, external forces can work their way through our actions and willpower. And many religions identify external beings and individuals which surround our sphere of existence.

But it seems when you achieve some sort of awareness and dissolution of the self, there is not that concrete division between oneself and others. However, “others” can still think there is such a thing, even though this unaware other is another reflection of the interconnected cosmic self. These kinds of avenues of perception can be of benefit in regards to knowing how things work in the astral (simply that deeper awareness is able to evade the chaotic attentions of malicious beings).

The big mystery to me, is how there are cosmic beings of all kinds (real or imaginary — it doesn’t matter what you think) but they’re all just the same material. They’re all another manifestation of the self. So even if your god of choice is real, it’s just another manifestation of the cosmic self that you are. Which makes me consider the veneration of divinities within a different light than mere subservience. We’re just praying to ourselves, no matter what (and yeah, I know monotheistic religions are supposed to bypass that, but I don’t buy it).

‘Smoke signals…

Posted in Buddhism, God(s), Mysticism, Reality Bites, Ultimate Reality, World of Emotions on August 19, 2009 by wizardsmoke

This blog is all over the place! And if anything, that’s what makes it kind of “emo” and hard to maintain when I’m focusing on more specific projects. But whatever, on with the show. I know you care, right? Haha!

I used to sit down at my computer and just roll with the ideas that flowed out of my jazzy fingertips. But nowadays, I think of something to write and I consider it to be stupid and pointless. Because there is no overarching “point” to it. Blogs should have a theme, a purpose, a reason to follow them. Not just meandering internal chatter.

What’s my novelty? Ah — wizardry! Of course. Everyone hitting up this blogspace is looking for magical discussion (or fake marijuana — seriously, google it). And magic is interesting to everyone. In fact, everyone wants to learn magic but won’t admit it or agree to a general definition of it. But everyone wants a leg up on other people — everyone wants X-ray goggles, eye-lasers, levitation, invisibility, etc. Or they want inner peace, to heal people, to be enlightened, and so on.

Thing is, magic isn’t physically tangible to people who have a pre-conceived notion of what they think it should be. Skeptics, athiests, or whatever — they have preconceived notions or definitions. But magic is about the pregnancy of ideas, and those who straight-up refuse to consider mind-manipulation of the various spheres of existence are in fact, ripe for manipulation (UNLIKE PEOPLE WHO BLINDLY BELIEVE IN THE EXISTENCE OF OTHERWORLDLY PHENOMENA, AMIRITE?).

All goals and objectives in life make us miserable when we consider their totality, because there’s no actual point to existence. But believing in a purpose to life, a reasoning or burning drive that makes us “correct” in contrast to others — it functions under the premise that there is a tangible point to life by reaching for — or creating, one. And why not? It’s more fun to play the game, to run the gambit or the spiral towards “meaning”. Even though meaning or purpose is like the eye of the spiral, whirlpool and black-hole. It’s mesmerizing, but ultimately you are destroyed by it (there is nothing on the other side — wah!!!).

I was talking to a neurotic friend, who mentioned that the “point” of life is basically like “rigpa” in Tibetan Buddhism — attaining and maintaining “the state”. Although it sounds really cheesy and dumb, I basically do agree with this — there is no point beyond maintaining a “pure” state of awareness where we don’t really identify with positive or negative definitions or illusions of purpose. And it’s not that we don’t care about the consequences of events; it’s just that everything from the cosmic egg ebbs and flows and never permanently settles, so why should we attach our karmic fate to things which are not spiritually permanent investments (including expressions of self)?

Anyway, this mental state is the only thing that does not bring eventual suffering, dissatisfaction, ordukkha. So any talking about it just complicates the issue more; it’s like the traditional Chan/Zen idea that you cannot tell by interacting with a person whether they are enlightened or not, because they know not to attach much romance to ambitious spiritual ideas — they just do the work. So enlightened people just look like any person interested in the random stuff they happen to be doing at the moment; the day’s work, and so on, except their “mind” or spirit or whatever is not emotionally attaching to it.

So no matter if this world was hand-crafted by God or Satan, or self-manifested by idiots or angelic spirits, or whatever you think happened that put it together — from the ultimate perspective our suffering is sort of unaccounted for in the equation, because it’s a subtle choice (yes, obviously physical pain is a little different, but it’s like getting confronted with a gun: try to avoid it before it happens). But when activated, suffering actually spurs people to expel energy and intent into the world without control.  Presumably, if you maintain “the state” then existence is a beautiful pearl, not an endless trail of tears, because you aren’t identifying with it. But that’s just sick, sick, sick!