Welcome to the class. This course is probably going to be just a little different from any you have taken before in that I, like my own teacher in these arts so many years ago, am a firm believer in starting from scratch. All too often, instructors in the occult arts assume that the student already has certain abilities and a background of understanding. And often this is true, but more often, either the student has no such background, or has found a previous course incomprehensible. In addition to this is the fact that the mere title of Technomage was new to a lot of people not too long ago. So let me begin by giving you a little of what technomagick is and we can get into the heavier aspects of its philosophy in later lessons.
I will begin with the simple question. What is a Technomage and what the hell is Psionic Magick?
These are two questions which will inevitably pop up whenever I find myself talking to my pagan friends, even before they try to lecture me about the latest in political fads. It is not the easiest thing to explain and the reaction to the concept is something akin the face of the Russian Colonel in Rambo III when he asked the hero "Who are you?" and he responded "Your worst nightmare."
In some ways, Technomagick is the orthodox (and I use word because there is no better one even though it may not be entirely appropriate) pagan's worst nightmare. There is something that is not quite savory to them in the idea of machines playing a role in Magick and the fundamental premises of Technomagick do not fit at all with the worldview that they are trying to promote, even though the basis is the same.
The unfortunate fact is that some of our brethren look on us as being little better than Satanists, even though we have as little use for that breed as they do.
To understand how a Technomage thinks and how it relates to modern paganism, you have to visualize a balance between religion on the left and science on the right. The distinction is purely arbitrary and please do not read anything political into that. On the extreme left hand, you have the orthodox pagan with his or her various forms of worship based ritual. Slightly to the right of that, you have the practitioner of Magick, now usually basing his work on the Golden Dawn system in some way, or the work of Franz Bardon, the system favored by my own teacher.
On the extreme right, you have the true materialist scientist as exemplified by the blockheads in the Scientific Committee to Investigate the Claims of the Paranormal. And just a little to the left of them, the New Physicists, who seem to be less interested in physics than in philosophy and trying to create new social systems for other people to live in. It can become very annoying, trying to sort all of these matters out and then you find us, somewhere in between. For our model of working is based on the use of machines to mediate between the magician and the mostly impersonal forces of the unseen universe.
The Technomage is in many ways a materialist. He functions in a world where all is energy, and matter is nothing more than a form of energy. He is not likely to be interested in religion, because he realizes that gods and goddesses are nothing more than patterns of energy themselves, which means that he cannot put his mind into a frame of worship. Devotion is a concept utterly alien to technomagick, even though it may be convenient to personify the patterns. To put it more clearly, a Technomage is sort of the pagan equivalent of a secular humanist, only he goes a bit farther. Where the humanist says that "Man is the measure of all things," the Technomage says "Man is potentially the master of all things."
Right away, you can see the problems that this is going to present. The good neopagan, or simply pagan, will go into raptures about the worship of the Goddess or the various manifestations of the Horned God and the Technomage will look at her with a certain puzzlement of expression, wondering what all the fuss is about. It is not the type of situation which makes friends easily. And, to be honest, the good Technomage can be just as bullheaded and obnoxious as any other person and at times possibly moreso. The truth of the matter is that the basic training of the magician, as opposed to that of the mystic, is not conducive to humility.
OK, so now you know why Uncle Chuckie is such a pain in the rear at times. So how did he get that way and how does all this relate to the ideas of Technomagick?
So at this point let me tell you something about myself and my own journey.
I am, in truth, a product of my environment. I was eight years old when Sputnik was launched and that event had a terrible impact on me, for I had the misfortune to be considered, rightly or wrongly, a child prodigy with an interest in science. Whether I truly deserved that reputation or not is open to argument, since I have always been capable of being damned stupid when I wanted to be. As I grow older, I increasingly doubt it myself, though it did wonders for the budding ego of a small boy who was so uncoordinated that he did not learn to ride a bicycle until he was twelve and so utterly unathletic that he never even bothered to try to catch the baseball. Charles the Fierce, of which so much has been made, did not appear until adolescence at which time I made up for things with a vengeance. (How many 16-year-olds carry a garrote and know how to use it?)
But the Russian sattelite changed everything, for the nation went into a paroxysm of terror at the thought that the Godless Communists had better scientists than we did, (actually it was an accident of history due to the fact that their scientists were not as good and they needed more powerful rockets because their nuclear warheads were so much heavier and less sophisticated) and any child who had the slightest interest in the sciences was treated as a potential savior of the nation and pushed as far and as fast as possible.
That is one hell of a heavy trip to lay on the head of an eight-year old.
As a result, I became a junior scientist, complete with chemistry set, telescope, microscope, electronic stuff, and occasional explosions in the back yard as I tried to make rocket fuel and a peculiar interest in the borderlines of nature, particularly such things as telepathy and ghosts.
That year, for Christmas, I was given a plastic box with two dials, a large and colorful meter and a thing you strapped to your hand. It was a simple lie detector, actually a galvanic skin response meter. Of course, in those days, no one outside of a few psychologists knew what biofeedback was and I certainly had no idea of it and if you had mentioned "galvanic skin response" you would have gotten some very strange looks. It was just fun to hook up the machine and make the needle move by thinking.
I got real good at that. In fact, I became so adept at moving the needle around that I became the most accomplished liar in school. I trained myself to the point where I could say the most outrageous untruth and have no physical register at all for the teacher to grab onto. This did not exactly make me popular with my fellows, for it is inherint in the nature of children that they insist that everyone be exactly like themselves and I was most definitely NOT like anyone else.
Well, so much for the socialization process.
But my little green box came to the rescue again, for I discovered that if things got too hot at school, I could get myself a day off by hooking myself up, getting the needle down and willing my body temperature to rise. Mother would never have dreamt of sending me out with a fever!
I also discovered, and at this point my orthodox brethren feel their hair start to rise in shock, that once I had the needle down, if I imagined real hard that something unpleasant was happening to anyone I did not like, something unpleasant did happen.
But you must remember that at this time I was still thinking of myself as a little scientist and my room had the appearance of a laboratory, with control panels for different gadgets all over the place. That had started when I was six and that year, Santa Claus (who still
existed then) gave me a control panel that was a mock television station control unit. That was not remarkable, but my father did one small thing that day that set a suggestion in my mind that never really left and probably resulted in my present interests. This is the toy.
I was on the floor of my room playing with it and he came to take a picture. I was about to throw a switch on the panel which would cause a small red light to go on. My father, for reasons I have never quite understood, said that if I had thrown the switch, it would have caused the photo to blur. Patent nonsense, but a six-year-old would not know that.
Anyway, by the time I was thirteen, I had more control panels than I had wall to put them around. And I got a good one.
Remco made a radio transmitter station that could transmit voice and code to any AM radio in the house. It was in a nice, blue cabinet and it was my favorite gadget. I discovered that by turning the television in my room on a channel that was not used for broadcast, and by playing with the frequency control on the transmitter, I could make pretty patterns on the screen.
In one fell swoop I graduated from scientist to video artist and nobody knew what they were at the time either.
Are you getting the point that I have this bad habit of being ahead of everyone? I will confess that it was a surprise that my eighth grade art teacher started giving me A's to not only my parents but to myself, as I had never shown any talent in art before, but it is vaguely possible that my little games with the television were somehow carrying over into my classwork.
But what the hell has all this to do with becoming a magician? Well, think about this. If you could build a machine that would control a television set, why could you not do the same thing with the human mind and the rest of nature? Hence the concept of the Technomage, to use machines to do Magick.
We have to go back to the culture of the 1950's and early 1960's. It is difficult for those born later to realize the hold that orthodox Christianity had. And by orthodox, I do not mean fundamentalism, but mainline Protestantism and Roman Catholicism.
My mother's family had been protestant from the reformation. The first one to come over on her side did so in 1645 and Resolved Waldron came complete with high hat, buckles on his shoes and a bible, as well as a land grant for much of New York.
Father left the Roman Catholic church when he was 13 and a priest did something to offend him, though he never told anyone what it was, though knowing my father it was probably being told not to do something that he wanted to. Only two people that I know of ever got away with saying no to my father, my mother, because he let her and me, because I was supposed to.
So I was raised in the United Church of Christ, with a short interlude among the Methodists when mother had an argument with the preacher. My parents were not, by any standard, religious people. It was just something fashionable at the time and we did have one set of neighbors who were and are avowed atheists. My parents always liked them and now that I know what the time of my childhood was like, I admire them as well. But the point was that I was not raised to take religion very seriously and when the time came that Sunday School conflicted with Flash Gordon, my parents were only too happy to sleep late.
By the time I was thirteen, Christianity was too ridiculous to take seriously. In those days there was still the conflict between religion and science and anyone with any brains sided with science. And still does, for that matter!
It was that year that I met the two figures who were in many ways to be my idols. And I use the word met in a somewhat figurative fashion, because one was long dead and the other never really existed. They were Dr. Faustus and Rotwang.
All right! You all know who Faustus was. Faust was the scientist who sold his soul to the devil and became a great magician until the devil came to claim his part of the bargain. I knew better than to believe in a devil, so I just went with magician side. It fitted nicely with my interests in what I was learning was called the occult.
Rotwang was, for those of you who may not know, the mad scientist/magician in the movie Metropolis.
There was, in those days, a magazine, and I still have three issues of it in my collection, published by Forrest J. Ackerman, called Spaceman. It was a fan magazine dedicated to science-fiction film and still probably the best of the genre ever done. And Forrest J. Ackerman was a fan, a devotee actually, of the movie Metropolis. He published some stills from the movie and I encountered Rotwang and immediately realized that that was what I wanted to be. I mean, here was this fascinating character, in his black glove and trenchcoat with tons of control panels.
Then I got the novel by Thea Von Harbou and really knew that that was what I wanted to be. By the time I got to see the movie I was so prepared that it became a truly profound experience.
There was only one little glitch to all this. Sometime between childhood and adolescence I got burned out on math. I mean I really was bored to tears by it. And you cannot become any sort of professional scientist without being a mathematician as well.
I transferred my love to history, philosophy and the occult, which can be quite a combination. It also meant putting aside the scientific trappings for more traditional interests.
Well, not quite.
You see I had this little problem. All of the material available on the subject assumed that a person could visualize things with no practice. For those of you who have read my books, you know I don't assume that and here is why.
I could not visualize with my eyes open for spit!
As you can imagine, this was a serious difficulty, for how can a person visualize the blue light coming out of the wand as he draws his circle and says the appropriate phrases if he cannot visualize any light at all?
I solved the problem and whenever I tell my fellow magicians how I solved it they turn strange colors and look embarrassed, except for one young woman who nearly went into Gran Mal. I simply replaced the traditional wand with a flashlight. When I wanted a colored light, I put a colored gel over the lens. Thus there was no further need to visualize a light, because the light was really there. And in psionic terms using a flashlight as a wand makes very good sense because the visible light acts as a carrier wave for whatever energy you are using.
It worked marvelously. And it was then that I met my teacher in a bookstore where I was looking for a copy of The Key of Solomon, which at that time was still real hard to come by.
This may come as a surprise for those who are already familiar with my writings and who have probably assumed that I taught myself everything occult I know. That is not true and I wish to set the record straight. While much of my early work in psionics was done in isolation, I had the benefit of studying for a number of years under an elderly man in Chicago who can be described as an adept in the Mysteries if ever that title can be truly applied and with whom I had a working relationship which could be compared to Darth Vader and the Emperor (which has even greater meaning now as I look very much like the Emperor). For those who will wonder why I do not name him, he felt, for reasons of his own, that his identity should be kept hidden while he was alive and it is out of respect for this most wise of men that I will continue to keep his secret even though he has been dead for years. I will make a number of references to him during the first couple of lessons in this course. And I will confess that it has been a bit of a problem for me to write about him, because of all the books and movies that have come out about mystic teachers. So let me say that he was not an Indian in South America, a short alien, or a Japanese actor.
This teacher had a method of instruction which was very simple. He provided me with the basic groundwork and then let me work out the details for myself. He never called his room where he did his ritual magick anything but a laboratory and he always termed his rituals "experiments." But from just before my seventeenth birthday to just after my twenty-second, I spent one day a week with him, learning not only by doing, but by discussion and example. Our usual procedure in the early stages was to begin with the performance of some physical or mental exercise, as you are about to do, and then discuss the results. His whole purpose seemed to be to draw more out of me than I knew was already there, not only in ideas, but also in experience. W. E. Butler wrote "The whole aim of this training is to give you an integrated personality; a personality no longer at the mercy of its surroundings. Is is important therefore, that independence of environment is acquired as soon as possible."
My teacher would have agreed with that wholeheartedly but he would have added the qualifier that the independence sought is mental and spiritual. Certainly most the following exercises will place you in a position of extreme, though temporary, physical dependence on your partner, as I was dependent upon him when I did them so many years ago.
But I was lucky. Most people learn the occult arts (and make no mistake about it, Psionics is a branch of Magick) only from books and never have contact with a real teacher. And I know that this course is but a poor substitute for actually having you here in my lab, but I am sure that you will do well. But understand that this first lesson is to help you understand yourself to the point that you will be so well anchored in your own mind that you will not be moved by every current you later encounter.
I will try to make things as simple as possible and give a good reason for each exercise, but I can also make assumptions and if you have any problems with any aspect of this course, feel free to write me. I would, however, appreciate that any difficulty you have be described in as much detail as possible so that I may help you overcome it. But back to my story.
I was a good student and by the time I was starting college, I was already accomplished in the traditional arts. I was particularly good at summoning rainstorms, which for some perverse reason I got into the habit of doing on the days when father went off to play golf.
However, with time and practice, I was finally able to visualize and the flashlight was packed away with the Ankh made of twisted aluminum foil and a few other ideas that were fun to play with but either never quite worked the way I expected or had outlived their usefulness.
But by now you must be getting the idea that I was never one to slavishly follow any tradition or idea. In that you would be correct because by both upbringing and the work of my teacher I was taught to always seek my own ways of doing things.
Let us look at another modification. I never had much use for the traditional robes of the magician, they seemed to be out of place in my time. And I catch cold much too easily to run around buck naked, to say nothing of the embarrassment it would have caused my teacher who could be a bit of puritan in his way. Thus I decided that the only thing that really mattered was the color of the shirt, which should match the planet whose influence was being invoked, and the head covering.
This made matters much simpler, for now all I had to do, if I was working with Venus, for example, was to wear a green shirt, which I had in abundance, and a green something, usually a paper crown, on my head. It saved a lot of room in my closet and, as I lived at home and mother did the laundry, saved a lot of embarrassing explanations.
My teacher passed from this life shortly after my twenty-second birthday, about a month after I left home to go to graduate school and as the years passed, I more or less began to specialize, largely due to the fact that I tend to be somewhat lazy and I discovered that a well-made talisman was just as good as a full-blown evocation, and a hell of a lot less work. I also became infatuated with the idea of Fortunatus Cap.
Think about it, wouldn't it have been great to have a magickal hat that you could wear and have all kinds of powers from just putting it on. And if you've read my other work, you probably already know what ultimately came of that idea. If the truth be told, the first version of the Psionic Amplifying Helmet, was not psionic at all, but a magical implement, made and consecrecated with the same care as the wand.
Nevertheless, in spite of my tendency to modify things, my work was overwhelmingly traditional, as was my library. Even my dowsing was done with a very traditional-looking pendulum and I even had one that had words of power written on it.
And I read the materials that a good little magus should, trying to keep up with the latest developments of the trade, as it were. And that is what got me into my present situation.
The man who became my first publisher put out a short-lived and much prized journal called Gnostica, which was full of interesting stuff about the magickal and the occult. And in one the issues was an article entitled "Electronic Talismans".
I could not resist reading such an article, since talismanic magick had become the heart of my work, and I discovered the article to be about radionics. Now I had been exposed to the subject of radionics before, but the equipment seemed hard to come by and I had kept my interests along the more traditional lines of work. But this article had a design for a radionic device on the Hieronymus pattern, though somewhat simplified, and I was, using that pattern as my guide, able to build, on April 7, 1977 (three sevens in there, mind you) my first radionic box. And, as I have this hobby of building helmets, a head electrode for the box which was built into a plastic helmet, thus creating the prototype for the first Psionic Amplifying Helmet. And, in one fell swoop, it became obvious that all my work along the lines of traditional Magick had been, at least in my life for I make no judgement about the work of others, obsoleted. What had once taken hours of work, finding out the right day and time for the working, preparing the circle and getting all the correspondences right, could now be done by setting a few dials and thinking!
Again, well, not quite.
It has been many years now since that day and I have learned that sometimes it helps to combine the traditional rites with the equipment, even as I have combined the traditonal patterns with it. In his last novel, Skylark DuQuesne, E.E. Smith wrote "Psionics is Magic" and, in its own way, magick is psionics. For all the conventional magician and the practitioner of psionics do are the same things, only using different models. And, as I have learned, the models can be combined to produce some very interesting and powerful results.
Anyway, that, in short is my story of how I got to this stage in my work. This course is designed to take you to the same place a lot more quickly than it took me, but do not rush things and do not be disappointed if some skills take more time than others.
So let's begin. This lesson is primarily designed to teach you the relationship between your body and your mind. I know you probably know that the mind can influence the body. After all, you are taking this course, but what is often forgotten is the degree that the body influences the mind.
Everything that happens to the body will have an effect on the working of the mind. It may be direct, as in learning that it is almost impossible to meditate when you are coughing, or it may be more subtle, involving sense perception and the sense of time and space. For that reason we will begin with the body itself and its reactions to changes in its environment. Now this may seem a rather silly way to start a study of anything psychic, but you will be amazed at how your senses work and how changing them increases psychic ability. My teacher used to say that body and mind meet at experience and experience alters them both. And, as you ultimately judge your experience from the physical level, the more you know about how that works the better. The following is a condensed version of work we did over a period of six months and by the time that six months was over, I could tell if something was upsetting my left little toenail.
As you study this lesson, some of you may find a certain similarity to things written of by William Seabrook in his book Witchcraft. This is not an accident. My own teacher was influenced by that work as well as some of the things of the sixties and I am merely following in his footsteps though I have added some things to his exercises and subtracted a lot to make this section manageable for you, but do not be surprised if some of the exercises are the same as found in certain popular new age type works.
Another benefit I hope that you get from this lesson is learning that by changing your physical environment, you change your perspective and force your mind to look in different directions than it normally would. For example, my teacher once tied my hands behind my back and pointed up to the ceiling light and told me to turn it off. Well, there was no way I could reach the cord hanging from the light with my hands, so after about a half-hour of thinking, I dragged a chair under the light and, standing on the chair, pulled the cord with my teeth. Sometimes you have to remember that no problem is unsolvable, it is merely a matter of using your head.
There are certain things that you will need for this lesson. First and foremost is a partner that you can trust. It is best to have someone who shares your interest in this area of study and will not play pranks on you. The reason for that will become obvious later.
It is also a good idea to have a tape recorder handy. If you have a video camera available, that will also be useful, but it is certainly not necessary to go the expense of buying one. There are other things you will need, but as you have them lying around the house, we can talk about them as we come to them.
Now, as to procedure.
First, read the exercise in full. Think about it for a time and consider what you wish to accomplish by doing it.
Second, do the exercise. Work to make certain that you are not disturbed while in the course of each exercise. Take the phone off the hook and, if possible, disconnect the doorbell. Chase all extraneous personnel, spouse, offspring, in-laws out of the house. Use a large stick if you have to.
Third, record what happened during the exercise and everything you felt during it. This is most important. You will need at times to be able to go back and study things during your work and if you can get started now in keeping a journal of your experiences, so much the better.
For this opening exercise all you will need is an audio tape recorder and a mirror. While your partner may be present, unless he is very a very close friend it is best to do this exercise alone.
a: Set up the tape recorder where you can talk into it and not have to hold a microphone.
b: Take your clothes off and stand naked in front of the mirror. (Incidentally, this is the only exercise where nudity is required or even desirable)
c: Look at yourself very carefully in the mirror and describe in detail what you see and how you feel about what you see. Also be sure to describe any physical sensations you may experience, even the most mundane, such as the feel of the floor or carpet and the possible drafts in the room. Leave out nothing.
d: After you feel that you have gotten everything out of this exercise that you can, put your clothes back on and look in the mirror again. Record any differences in feeling.
e: Upon completion of the of exercise, listen to the tape and write down everything you believe to be important, but keep the tape as well. After a couple of days, listen to the tape and compare what you said to your notes and discover any differences you may find.
f: Always preserve all your records, both notes and tape.
For this exercise you will need a chair and the tape recorder. Wear comfortable clothing. a: Set up the tape recorder.
b: Set the chair where it will face a blank wall.
c: Sit in the chair and stare at the wall. Do not try to avoid blinking, but just hold you gaze at the blank space for as long a you can until total boredom sets in.
d: Record any sensory impressions that come to, anything you may see on the wall, spots, or shadows or light patterns. If you should see images appear, record them as well but do not expect that and do not be disturbed if they should, or should not appear. All you wish to do is make an objective record of your impressions.
e: When you feel that there is no more to be gained from this, that you have become bored, write down all your reactions and preserve the tape.
This is a variant of an exercise created by my teacher. He learned Magick between the world wars when it was commonly believed that the postures used in Hatha Yoga were not suited to the western mind or body. As meditation was essential he had me use the Egyptian seated posture and I got real bored very quickly. And when I am bored I fidget. My teacher solved the problem by tying me to the chair. I do not expect you to do that, but if you want to try it, go ahead.
Exercise 3 (optional, car required)
a: Put the tape recorder in the car before you go out driving.
b: During the course of your drive, and it can be anywhere, to work or school or shopping, record all you feelings and physical impressions. Is the seat too hot or cold? Does your heart beat faster when some clod cuts you off? Did you want to run the bus off the road and into the river?
c: Upon returning home, write down your experiences and feelings and preserve the tape. Exercise 4.
For this exercise you will need a chair again and should dress in loose-fitting clothing. a: Set up the tape recorder as usual and sit.
b: Close your eyes and begin to concentrate your attention on any part of your body. Now you must understand at this point that you are not doing a relaxation exercise of any sort. You are merely fixing your awareness.
c: Record any feelings that you have from that part of the body. Is it touching anything such as clothing or the chair? Is it hot? Is it cold? Are the muscles loose or tense?
d: Continue this until you get bored. If you have not completed an assessment of your entire body, you may wish to repeat this exercise.
e: Write your impressions down and preserve the tape.
At this point, you should also make a decision about what you will wear and it may be a good idea to repeat it a number of times, always remembering that you are free to change such details at any time.
Now the time has come to bring your partner into the scene. Remember, this must be a person you can trust, who will not play pranks at your expense or tell everyone how crazy he thinks you are.
What is now going to happen is that your senses are going to be changed. In effect you will be entering a very mild version of what is called an altered state of consciousness, not the extreme varieties usually referred to by that phrase, but merely simple changes in the way you relate to your world. It is often forgotten that our consciousness changes from one moment to the next as subtle changes in the environment influence us. These exercises are a way of simply adding a little extra nudge without having to resort to the shock tactics favored by certain teachers.
For this exercise you will need a blindfold. As you will be using a blindfold often from here on, it is a good idea to pick the kind that you wish to use.
The standard cloth tied over the eyes will work, but it has certain drawbacks, such as the possibility of being too tight. Much better are the sleeping masks sold in drug stores. For some exercises, gauze pads taped over the eyes will work quite well. You may even wish to use split ping-pong balls but if you do, be sure to cover the edges with tape so that they do not cut the skin around your eyes.
Never, with the exception of the split ping-pong balls, wear a blindfold over contact lenses. The pressure of the blindfold can cause discomfort at the least and may even damage the eyes. One other thing. The following exercises are similar to those used to sensitize people to the needs of the handicapped. That is not the purpose of these. They are only to sensitize you to your own mind. They are also used by drama instructors so no matter how weird some of the exercises may seem, they are not that uncommon.
a: With your partner present, spend some time blindfolded. Do nothing else. During that time, act as normally as possible, sitting, walking around, holding a normal conversation. If possible, walk around outside. When you do this, be certain that your blindfold is secure. If light seeps in from cracks along the nose, have your partner close those cracks with adhesive tape.
b: Repeat this exercise a number of times, until you are able to stay blindfolded for an entire day, or longer.
c: Record all of your impressions. Are you nervous? Did you become easily disoriented or lost even though you were in your own house? Were you frightened at any time? What did you think during the exercise? Were you able to trust your partner or did you think that he might deceive you in some way.
d: For this exercise, and most of the succeeding ones in this lesson, a videotape can be very valuable. With video, you can see how you reacted and moved and thus be more aware of the actions of your body and how it related to what your mind was doing at the time. Even if you do not have a video camera, a photograph of yourself doing the exercise will be helpful later in your work as you will learn in the next lesson.
a: Again have your partner blindfold you.
b: Remain blindfolded long enough for the other senses to become sharpened, at least one hour before proceeding.
c: Have your partner bring you small objects to identify by touch, not only with your hands, but with your cheeks and the soles of your feet. See how many you can get right.
d: Record your impressions.
a: Acquire, without haggling, some colored construction paper. (Magicians never haggle about the price of their implements.)
b: Have your partner blindfold you and wait one hour.
c: Using both your hands and the soles of your feet, try to tell the colors of the paper. It is to be assumed that your partner will have the good sense to mix the papers up.
e: Record your results and impressions.
a: Repeat a and b from the previous exercise.
b: Hold each piece of construction paper and record your impressions from the color of the paper. Is it warm or cold? Is it friendly or hostile? Anything that comes to mind should be mentioned.
a: Have your partner blindfold you and wait at least one hour.
b: Listen to some music.
c: Record your reactions to the music. If the piece is familiar, does being able to see make a difference in your feeling towards it?
a: Have your partner blindfold you. It is not necessary to wait to begin with this exercise.
b: Listen to the television. What is the difference between being able to see the picture and merely listen to the sound?
c: Record your reactions.
For this exercise you will need to use a blindfold that will not be obvious. A pair of gauze pads taped over the eyes and covered by sunglasses is the best.
a: Have your partner blindfold you and drive you somewhere. It is best to pick a location that is not too crowded because you do not want to be bumping into people every two seconds.
b: Once there, try to use your mind's eye to replace your physical ones. Attempt to describe your surroundings without seeing them. See how much you can get right.
c: On returning home, record all your reactions.
This exercise should be repeated a number of times. See if you can improve your score. Exercise 11.
a: Have your partner blindfold you and sit with your back to him.
b: Instruct your partner to shine a flashlight on your back, but make no sign as to when he is going to turn the light on or off. (It is important to use a flashlight with a silent switch, for obvious reasons.)
c: Try to feel the light as it hits you. See if you can tell when the light is on or off.
d: Record your impressions and repeat this exercise at a later date. Try it both over clothing and bare skin.
The key to the blindfolded exercises is detail. Conversation should not be too difficult for you. It is just like talking on the telephone, where you only have the verbal cues to go by.
Other things will come easier with practice. You may, for example, have trouble getting food onto your fork and into your mouth. A spoon may be a medium of utter disaster.
And do not forget safety. This will become even more important as you go on, but at first, never move without your partner present. If he or she has to go to the bathroom, sit until he comes out. Respect stairs.
When recording your results, do not confine yourself to the bare facts of the experience. Be certain to record your feelings as well. If you were nervous, write it down. If you felt lost, say so. Be honest with yourself.
The other senses we will pretty much leave alone. There is little useful knowledge to be gained by cutting off the senses of smell and hearing, though you may want to try ear plugs to see if you discover anything. Most of what we will work on now involves movement, or rather lack thereof.
How often in the course of a few minutes do you touch something? Do you talk more with your hands than with your mouth? Can you function mentally without hands?
Most people never ask themselves these questions. They never cross their minds. You are about to.
This is where the importance of trusting your partner comes in, for the next series of exercises requires that you be almost helpless.
Now at this point I can sense the utter shock some of you may be feeling. Well, calm down. Nothing dreadful is going to happen to you and you will discover all manner of interesting things about yourself and your world. Oh, and one other very important thing. There is, for many people, a strong sexual element in the following (believe me, I know!). In fact one person I showed this lesson to when I was putting it together asked where I kept the whips and chains, which is not a good question to ask ME. If that is the case for you, merely recognize that it is there, but do not allow that aspect to control your responses. That is not what we are working with here, any more than when I was a pupil. For obvious reasons, I do not wish for there to be any misinterpretation of this aspect of the work.
You can probably guess what is coming next. So I have a few other words of advice before beginning. If you have real claustrophobia, or a history of being abused in some way, you might wish to seriously think over whether you want to do the following. If you decide to continue in spite of such fears, be absolutely certain that your partner knows what you are thinking and if you feel that you absolutely cannot handle being helpless in any way, I will not hold it against you and you must not hold it against yourself because it can happen that there has been some incident in your life that makes this work impossible. If that is the case, simply go on to the next lesson.
Exercise 12. This is a simple memory exercise to warm you up for the following. Ask yourself a simple question-have you ever been tied up? If the answer is no, go on to the exercises. If the answer is yes, and in most cases it will be, try to remember the event as much as possible, which may be difficult if you were a small child and now an older adult, and think about what you felt at the time, if anything. This way you will know if you are bringing any preconceptions to the exercises you are about to do and can allow for them.
Exercise 13. Begin simply. Spend an hour with your hands tied in front of you. Do not merely sit and chat, but move around, try to do things. You will notice that a great many things you take for granted are now difficult or impossible.
Increase the time of this to a day. Notice how you eat, wash, perform all your normal activities around the house and record it.
Exercise 14. Once you are more or less used to this exercise, so that you are not made nervous by it, have your partner tie your hands behind your back.
You may have to try it a couple of times to find the right position for your wrists, and it is best to use cloth, such as old neckties rather than rope though it is a good idea to avoid scarves. They can slip and become uncomfortable. Your partner will also have to be careful not to cut off your circulation.
Now you may begin to discover some very real differences.
It is to be expected that you will not be able to do much this way. You may have trouble talking if you are used to moving your hands around. Eating, for example, would be a real and highly embarrassing chore, opening doors very difficult and you can forget about taking something down from a shelf or even turning on a light. In effect, you will be totally dependant upon your partner for almost all the simple things you normally take for granted.
As you will not be able to do much, pay attention to the way your body reacts to the position. You will notice that your body language changes enormously. Walk around and notice how you stand. Do you naturally bend forward, or do you compensate by pulling back your shoulders. How does it affect the way you sit. I once worked with a young woman who told me that in the parochial school she went to the nuns tied the students hands behind them as part of method for teaching posture. It is, as you will find just a little difficult to sit back in a chair. And scratching can be a real pain.
How is your balance affected when you walk and when you move from a sitting to a standing position? Is there a difference if you wear shoes or go barefoot?
How does the change affect the way that you view the world. Are more nervous? Is there any change? How do you feel about yourself without hands? What is it like to be totally dependant upon your partner.
Be certain to record everything. Again, a video or a photograph will be very helpful.
Exercise 15.Expand the length of time for experiment to an entire day, only being freed to use the bathroom. See and record how your mind adapts.
When you do this exercise, try to pick a time when you will not have the in-laws coming for a visit. They may not understand. I will never forget one day with my teacher when his wife came in and I was sitting with my hands tied behind me which is, admittedly, a very odd way to study thoughtforms. He laughed and I turned a very deep shade of red to the tips my toes. She, of course, knew what was going on but I felt very stupid and I shudder at the idea of what anyone else may have thought.
Exercise 16. With your hands tied in front of you, try to write something down or draw a picture. Now repeat that with your hands tied behind you. See if what you created comes close to what you were trying to do.
Exercise 17. Now lets' try something that is genuinely not for the faint of heart. Have your partner take you out somewhere with your hands tied behind you.
When you do this, use a little sense. You are trying to judge your own reactions, not the shock on other people's faces. So make sure that your hands are hidden under a coat or jacket. Avoid restaurants. And make certain that under no circumstances does your partner leave you at any time for any reason.
What is your reaction to being out in the world without any way of protecting yourself. (I was scared to death!) Is your trust in your partner sufficient or will you demand to go home immediately? Do not try to tough this out. If you feel any discomfort, head for home.
Exercise 18. Repeat a number of the blindfolded exercises with your hands tied, particularly 5, 6, 10 and 11. Pay particular attention to how you walk and sit. Notice the position of your body. Are you more comfortable barefoot or with shoes? Is that a change from your normal feelings? And when you do these, pay some attention to safety. Be certain your partner is present. This should give you enough to work on for a while. You should feel free to repeat or combine any of the above exercises as often as you wish. You may also add elements to them that I have not covered. I would, however, recommend that you avoid total nudity in these exercises except during the first. While some teachers consider it essential, I have found that in the early stages of the work it is a serious distraction and can create more problems than it solves.
You should also never allow yourself to be shocked by anything that my come to you or that you may experience during the course of these exercises. It is not unusual for a spontaneous psychic experience to occur and you should be open to it. I remember that my first controlled out-of-body-experience occurred as I was tied to a chair in my teacher's laboratory. So if something comes to you, grab it! Remember, no matter what happens to your body, your mind is still under your control and that control is what you are trying to perfect. Once you have studied your reactions, go back and repeat an exercise and see if you can consciously determine how you will react. See if you can direct your mental and emotional responses
Was this article helpful?