Do it every day!
The reason that mystics and certain other psychologists are always "attacking" the ego is that the ego is the one mechanical circuit that suffers chronically from the illusion that it is non-mechanical and "free." The ego and its delusions must be undermined--either attacked openly and bluntly, as in the Gurdjieff system and this book, or subverted more subtly and slowly, as in certain other systems--before any real progress can be made toward "liberation," "enlightenment," "finding IT," discovering the "True Will" in Crowley's sense, or whatever is your favorite term for becoming less robotic and more aware--less the computer and more the programmer of the computer--less the conditioned rat in the Behaviorist's maze and more the Beyond-Human that the Sufic-Hermetic traditions and Nietzsche have predicted.
Mechanical reactions are the statistical norm; full conscious attention remains very rare. (That's why one Zen Master always gave the answer "Attention!" when he was asked what Zen "is.")
Society is structured to implement and exploit the product of the "maladaptive fallacy." The maladaptive fallacy is the assumption that man is flawed and evil. To correct our "pathology" we have military, police, psychologists, sociologists, university professors, physicians, priests, politicians and their ilk whose "soul" purpose is to mold us into productive agents for their employment, and allowing us to accumulate possessions which will be re-distributed through acts of violence and war.
Freedom comes from the knowledge of the Orphic Mysteries. Life oscillates between chaos and form. Try on a form, use it -- know it -- discard it. Then from chaos make a new form. Repeat the Cycles as often as possible and you will feel alive and free.
Our sleeping brain is capable of anything and everything we wish. The solution to man's "problems" lies in first getting "himself" out of his own way, and then re-programming his brain according to his "true will". Man's freedom is not in his conditioned ego-personality or his castrated visions of gods and demons but in his desire and ability to change himself.
When you speak to others notice your Dead phrases, and your patterned stylized responses. They are indications that you are sound asleep. You have something at stake each time you repeat these habitual phrases and comments. Find your patterned-machine like phrases which you use over and over again and hold so dearly. Count the number of times you use them in a three day period, and then: STOP
A requirement to perform your own work is the ability to look at yourself as you are -- not as you wish to be. As an experimenter with your own LAB and subject(s) you are obligated to view things as clearly and tentatively as possible. Don't start believing in FINALISMS, until you have enough experience doing the WORK. There are levels of ability as an experimenter, and your results will become more valid as you progress up the scale. Be conscious at all times of your uniqueness, that your LAB has something to contribute if you do your experiments.
Most values, beliefs, opinions and behavior are the result of deep, preconscious fear and survival tension. When we are not aware of the power that these primal feelings have over our lives, we develop secondary feelings of hate, greed and envy. As these are interpersonally unacceptable, we balance these powerful feelings with guilt [another word for fear turned to self-hate], internal deadness, blame, hostility, depression, superiority, and inferiority. These defenses are inadequate, outworn and destructive methods of coping with the primary animal instinct for survival. Man, to Become more than Human, must fully recognize the power of these feelings before he can take appropriate measures to outgrow their influence. However, most humans tend to ignore their true motivations and instead re-label their fear and survival anxieties as duty, business, concern, love, help, protection, security, morality, obligation, patriotism, need, opinion, etc. The result of this personal and inter-personal deceit is stagnation and turmoil.
TO CLEAR THE MIND OF ITS NOISE, THEN TO LOSE THE MIND ALTOGETHER; THIS IS MEDITATION. OF COURSE, SOME WOULD CALL THIS INSANITY.
Never lose the awareness that you have the ability to re-program your own brain according to your will. Humans have the outrageous habit of believing that once a pattern is established it must remain. This is particularly true when it concerns our "sacred" personality and characteristics. It is difficult for most of humanity to believe that how they feel, what they think, how they act, and what they believe is LEARNED, and there is nothing special or unique about them which is not contributed to by genetics and conditioning. To repeat -- -- all that we hold sacred about ourselves is not of our own choosing, but rather a result of "chance". However, unlike other animals humans are capable of willing, choosing, creating an identity through the process of self-undoing and then reconstruction.
Psychological studies have proven that tension is produced by happy experiences as well as depressing ones. Tension is a fact of life -- and not necessarily an unfortunate fact either. Stresses and strains are not only an integral part of life, but they often appear as life itself. But to bring about the change in consciousness necessary to achieve self programming, we must use some powerful techniques to reduce tension. A still mind is needed for re-programming. This is a result of Meditation, though this may not have been the intent of the meditator. Keep in mind your goal, together with the reasons for it: to free the body from the snares of the Mind, and to make the Mind a Slave to the Unconditioned Will.
Sit or lie down in a quite place and allow yourself to "think" about anything. Notice how and where your thinking is experienced. Notice what motions and tensions exist in your face-neck-throat area. After you have completed this, "think" about something unpleasant and notice if there is any difference. Now try "thinking" about something pleasant and make the same notations. Once you are thoroughly aware of this, attempt the following:
Rather than feeling bad about our feelings of inadequacy we begin to realize that it is a sign of the unknown in life. It simply means that you are preparing to feel open to the unknown and that you can function without having to predict or create the future compulsively. Being open to discovery and newness always implies the feeling of inadequacy which is quite different from being inadequate or worthless. Many of us spend much of our lives trying to control or prevent the unexpected. Individuals who take on challenges inherently accept the possibility of failure and their feelings of doubt and inadequacy. However, many of us have been taught that we need to build a totally organized and predictable world in order for us to Be OK.
The secret of Transcendence is not negation nor is it affirmation. It is simply an act of P O W E R Concentration without placing a moral value on what is transcended. Re-stated simply, it doesn't matter whether you transcend eating habits, sexual habits, drug habits, clothes habits, or simply the way you open a door. What matters is that you transcend and by repetitive acts of transcendence, consciousness becomes transformed. Additionally, transcendence has nothing to do with secret messages from the Psyche, secret orders, drug related experiences etc. It has to do with WORK. In other words, it is time to stop talking about Gods, messages, channels, etc. and time to act like the Gods/Goddesses we are. It is time to stop waiting and wondering and it is time to start acting and doing.
On The Invocation of Eris: Chaos as Prerequisite to Change
As we realize that we are our own greatest "works" of art as well as the co-artists of the world in which we reside, and exercise our talents, we give ourselves residence in the world of magic, happily juggling our self concepts along with our realities. So the preliminary task for any brain change artist is to get rid of his or her armour/shell/linguistic filter and get acquainted with the life underneath. William Blake knew what he was talking about when he wrote, "I must create my own system, or be enslaved by another's." Whose system are you plugged into?
Occult magick, witchcraft and shamanism is concerned with the re-ordering of reality through the re-ordering of consciousness and the accessing of will. The magickian aims to change self, consciousness, and/or peripheral reality in accord with will. Through magickal practice and ritual the magickian aims to cultivate the consciousness necessary to manifest such change. Most occult practices presume a sympathetic model of the planet or universe--a web of life, if you like. The idea that the basic energies can be manipulated is based on the realization that from a certain dimension or when in a more "sensitive" state of perception all things are interconnected--the paradoxical idea that we are One, yet Many. While in the reality-tunnel of our "normal" state of consciousness, we believe ourselves as autonomic, individual, and un-connected to the whole. But it is not far-fetched to entertain the concept that we are as yet unable to perceive ‘higher' levels of existence.
The film Altered States depicts the protagonist, a scientist very loosely modeled on Dr. John Lilly, traveling backwards through his genetic memory as he experiments with sensory deprivation tanks combined with neuro-active chemicals. He devolves into apeman, and further into an amorphous blob of pulsating energy--pure chaos. Where the film exaggerated real experiments by showing the protagonist actually change into an ape (and eat the flesh of live animals at the zoo), the point it makes is relevant. Real-life experiments conducted by Dr. Lilly suggested that it was possible to "visit" our selves in various states of evolution, but of course physical transformation did not occur. It was the mind which took a ride on a genetic elevator of sorts, allowing recognition and realization of the primeval consciousness and/or cosmic consciousness. The point is that we can access the Self beneath the programming and choose to change our minds/realities, become the meta-programmers of our brains rather than the puppets of the culture we were bread in by applying the magickal formula: Will + Imagination + Altered States.
As we commit ourselves to a practice of magickal crucifictions, moving through processes of dis-identification and re-definition of our perceived selves and realities, our normal reality changes to a magickal reality, and we soon re-cognize that we are no-thing, everything, and something. The WoMan who practices the art of reality shaping understands what Hassan I Sabbah meant when he said that "Nothing is true, everything is permissible."
The Will is very effective when applied in the dimension of potential (Chaos), more so, I think, than when applied to the denser astral or physical planes, where it is can be refracted by opposing wills or sabotaged by your own re-actionary mental processes. Your magick will work, so be certain that you want that which you will. Also, it helps to have some sort of symbol of your desire at hand to concentrate upon or verbalize--a word or mental image will do--so you won't need to regain "normal" consciousness in order to remember the purpose of your ritual. Formal invokations should be memorized.
Invoking Eris in your daily life will take some of the tedium out of mundane tasks and greatly speed up your passage into a magickal multiple FUN reality. A good way to start is to break habits and replace them with new ones, then break the new habits and replace them, and so on. Or, walk in a different way, talk to strangers, act "out of character" (tell your friends you're performing an experiment), wear clothing which is not your style, explore new routes to work, eat exotic foods, eat on the floor, eat without utensils, write with the hand you don't write with, try to believe in ideas you abhor (except during elections), make love to someone who is not your "type".
As you give your former "static" reality various Erisian jolts, continuously question your beliefs about the world, your ideas of yourself, your goals and desires. Be brutally "honest" and beg your friends to do the same. Find out where you are and why; you can search your "soul" more effectively than any therapist. What is important is that you recognize the foundations, scaffolds, and walls of your "normal" reality; and demolish them and build anew. To maintain residence in magickal reality keep turning the channel again and again and again. If you're not moving forward, you're moving backwards! Evolve!
Take any one pattern and change it. The pattern can be the way you comb your hair, the type of clothes you wear, the makeup you use or don't use, the places you go or don't go, the type of movie, book or TV show you watch, etc. Yes, you might be doing something that is not enjoyable; but the idea is flexibility. By doing something that is different, you are able to test whether you still don't like it (as opposed to when you first made the decision). Our likes and dislikes change with time and with experience. What you may have disliked at one time may now be something that you enjoy--except that you never discover that because you never try it.
Repeat the previous exercise with the same pattern many times. Don't stop at making the change just one time. Initially it is likely that your superego will punish you for disobeying the internal law. It will put you in mental jail. But just keep doing it until your internal cop shuts up. When you can do it at will with no self-recrimination and no guilt, then you can see if, in fact, you are not rather enjoying it.
Take another pattern and do the previous exercises again. The more times you do this with more set patterns, the more you will free yourself.
Find any building (preferably one with at least 10 floors) and ride up and down the elevator. Each time someone gets in, start a conversation. A good icebreaker is, "How has your day been going so far?" If the person does not respond, then just go on talking about your own day. The idea is to be able to destroy the beast that says "don't talk to strangers" and "mind your own business."
Do the previous exercise with people in line at a supermarket check out stand or in a movie line. In the supermarket you can talk about the items in the other person's shopping basket and at the movie you can talk about the movie you are waiting to see or about other movies. There is, however, one forbidden topic: that is, to talk about children. That is too easy. Challenge yourself. Undo that punishing superego.
Change your church habit. If you go every Sunday, then don't go for several weeks. If you usually attend a particular church, go to another one. If you never go to church, go to a different church each week for several weeks.
When doing any of these exercises (and in doing them with any particular thing or way), there are two good indicators that you are on the right path. One indicator is guilt, shame, or disapproval. The other is anxiety. Guilt, shame, and disapproval all arise from the superego. When you "break an internal law," you usually feel some form of guilt, shame or disapproval. If something is easy to do, it usually means that you are not breaking one of your internal law. Like eating cherry rather than chocolate ice cream, it is only a preference. You could do the one as easily as the other.
We have a valuable clue to when something which is self-hurtful needs to be undone. If you don't like it in yourself, if you feel ashamed about it, if you consider that you are less of a person for it, then you are at war. Then you need either to change the thing of which you disapprove or accept it. A life lived in guilt, in self-loathing or self-disdain is a wasted life. Undo the damage and get on with the joy of living.
THE SUPEREGO CAN CREATE EMOTION AND IT CAN PREVENT IT! As you work through these exercises and the energized meditation that Dr. Hyatt has provided, you are changing your superego and thus your feelings. As a matter of fact, one of the hallmarks of the person acting at a higher level of psychological development is that his thinking or evaluation of a situation and his emotions (body state) come to be in greater harmony. That is actually a measure you can use to watch your progression through energized meditation to what Scientologists call "clear." As you develop, you will find less and less conflict between your thinking and your emotions.
The purpose of this meditation is to teach you how to identify your emotions. First, you will have to take on faith until you experience it yourself, that it is extremely rare for us to have only one emotion at a time. Sometimes we are vaguely aware of this mélange of emotion. When we are asked, "How do you feel about X?" we sometimes honestly answer "I don't know. I feel all kinds of ways." As a rule of thumb, at any given moment, you have about a dozen ongoing emotions. This exercise--and some will be very good at it almost immediately and others will have to practice at some length--is designed to aid you in identifying not only what all those emotions are, but where in your life they came from. (The current situation is only the stimulus to the recall of past emotion.) Broadly speaking, there are three modes of thinking: visual, auditory, and kinesthetic. Some people think in pictures. Other people think in words. Still others are best at sensing their own body states and "go with their gut." Here we have to call on at least two of these three. We start with the body (that is where emotion is) and then apply either pictures or words for the next step. Either method can work, so use the one that is easiest for you. This exercise can be done at any time. It is best done when you are otherwise emotionally calm, but the better you get at it with practice, the more you can use it. You can be having a morning cup of coffee, jogging, watching a TV program, talking on the phone. Any time is fine (except driving a car where it can easily distract you).
Find any part of your body where you can sense some tension. It can be an arm, a leg, your back, your jaw, anywhere in your body.
Identify that tension with an emotive word or phrase. If your preferred method of thinking is kinesthetic, then ask yourself: what does that part of my body want to do if it could act on its own? If your preferred method of thinking is visual, then picture a blackboard and let the emotion (the tension) write a word on that blackboard. For example: You might find tension in your calf. If that calf could act on its own--if it had its own will--it might want to run (i.e., to flee, anxiety), or it might want to kick a ball (i.e., have fun, enjoyment), or it might want to kick out (i.e., anger). For another example, the tension is in your shoulders. What do your shoulders want to do? Perhaps, shrug (I don't know, I don't care, leave me alone, annoyance). Perhaps rise to your head like a turtle pulling in its head (fear). Perhaps move your arms to reach out (lonely, need reassurance, need tenderness, want to be held). Perhaps move your arms to strike out (anger). Perhaps to pull them back as in a military posture (courage, determination, stubbornness). You do not have to identify the emotion exactly; sometimes it is an emotive or action phrase as opposed to a word.
Now take that emotion/tension and spread it over your whole body. I liken this to pouring a can of paint at the top of a wall and watching it gradually move down the wall covering it all in the color. Again this can be done visually or kinesthetically. You can see the tension spreading through your body or you can feel that specific tension spread over your whole body.
Holding that spread tension (emotion) state, now again scan your body for a new area of tension. While it can be in the same place as before, that is rare and you should try to find a tension in some other part of the body. Once you have found that new tension, again find an emotive word or phrase that describes the new tension. Almost always, on this second emotion, you will spontaneously recover a memory of when these two emotions occurred together in your life. It is that past scene to which you are currently responding and the issue of undoing yourself is to see how that past event either participated in causing the present event, or how the past event pushed you toward a specific response to the present event. There is no reason to stop at two areas of tension. If two does not get you to a memory, try for a third pass (identify, grow, scan, identify). There is also no reason to stop at one set of emotions. As I mentioned, at any given moment we generally have about a dozen ongoing emotions (areas of body tension). The more you do this, the better at it you will get and the more you will be able to unscrew the inscrutable.
This is an exercise for the rest of your life. It is the most exacting, requiring the most integrity (integrity is honesty turned inward: the refusal to lie to yourself about yourself). Make a list of every trait of yours you can think of. Keep the list handy and keep adding to it over time. To give you an idea, here is a list I constructed from one of my Reichian patients:
Now, with your list, for each of the traits or ways of being, try to do the opposite for a few days. Notice the anxiety (either in planning or in executing). Apply the previous exercise to find out where the pattern came from. Like healthy eating or exercise, this exercise is something you should plan for as part of your life from here on. With time you will add things to your list. For example, something you notice for the first time or something someone else may have said or pointed out. Simply add it to your list. You can analyze it later. DON'T DECIDE AHEAD OF TIME THAT IT IS IMPORTANT OR UNIMPORTANT. DON'T DECIDE AHEAD OF TIME THAT WHAT THAT PERSON SAID ABOUT YOU IS NOT TRUE. Just add it to the list and then challenge it. If you can challenge it without a hint of anxiety or guilt or remorse, then you can perhaps mark it off the list. But better to challenge than to let that superego daemon run your life. No doubt there are traits of which you approve. Let's say, courtesy. Nothing wrong with it, as long as it is not a compulsion, as long as it is something you can put on and take off as the situation demands. But, if you can't see how to break the pattern, then you are a victim, not of society but of your own internal cop. BREAK THE LAW!!!