Posts Tagged ‘Enlightenment’

Western-Secular-Style Enlightenment

Monday, July 30th, 2012

You found my old blog. Thanks for visiting! For my new writing, visit mikesententia.com.

Ask 3 mages to define “enlightenment,” and you’ll get 5 answers. So, if we’re going to talk enlightenment this week, let’s start with what I mean by it.

I’m Not Buddhist

The first thing you need to know is, I’m not Buddhist. If you need a label, I’m probably Western-scientific.

Why does that come first? Because most enlightenment-writers borrow from Buddhism, focusing on non-dualism and meditation. I can’t even define “non-dualism” — I tried, did it poorly, and removed it from the post. So, anything you know about common paths to enlightenment probably won’t apply to this series.

To my Buddhist readers: I have nothing against Buddhism or Buddhists. Your practices seem to produce good, generous people, at a rate significantly above average. It’s just not my path.

What I Mean by “Enlightenment”

Basically, helping people and building things because you want to (rather than for personal gain); not acting out of anger, pettiness, or similar destructive emotions; and generally acting in a generous, mature way. Only doing harm as a conscious decision, not a rash reaction, and minimizing the harm while achieving your goals. It’s only sensible to value your happiness above others’, and your friends’ well-being above strangers, but you should place a non-trivial positive value on strangers, too. I don’t have an airtight definition, but if you think about how an enlightened person would act, that’s basically what I mean.

You’ll notice, I’m describing behaviors and the thoughts that lead directly to behaviors. That’s because, if you’re acting enlightened, I don’t particularly care if you view the universe as one thing or a million, and I don’t particularly care if you can quiet your mind easily or not. What I care about is making sure that I use my magick to help people and build things, and making sure the people around me do, too. So that’s my definition of enlightenment.

There are multiple paths to this sort of enlightenment. Buddhist practices seem to work for some people. Some forms of psychotherapy do, as well. Even something as simple as being raised by particularly healthy, generous parents would probably suffice for the right person. (“The right person” meaning that there’s a genetic component to this, as well.)

Why don’t I adopt one of those techniques? A few reasons. First, speed: I want something that works in a few weeks of effort, spread over 1-3 years, so anything that talks about a lifelong journey is straight out. Second, generalizability: I want to build on these techniques, adding fast ways to update beliefs, the ability to help others with fast enlightenment, and possibly an additional step, more enlightened than what I’m thinking of now. And third, I enjoy direct magick, and don’t enjoy those other practices.

Now that we’re on the same page on enlightenment, we can start discussing techniques tomorrow.

If you liked this post, consider visiting my current blog at mikesententia.com.

Direct Magick for Enlightenment

Monday, July 30th, 2012

You found my old blog. Thanks for visiting! For my new writing, visit mikesententia.com.

I recently stumbled onto a new technique for enlightenment. I did the technique yesterday and today, with immediate, dramatic results. I’m quite pleased with it.

It’s hard to share. For one, it’s quite advanced, basically a bigger version of consciousness integration, which itself is advanced direct magick. In other words, this will be me telling you about my experience, rather than me teaching you a technique. Second, I’m not sure I can convey the changes convincingly, or┬ámeaningfully express my excitement. Third, every time I start writing, I imagine friends dismissing my experience as just internal psychological placebo, or thinking they could do the same thing just by meditating hard. Yes, dear readers, insecurity about people dismissing your magick never really dies. And yet, I think the only way to move forward is to share and see what happens.

I can’t write mammoth posts right now, what with consulting 8 hours a day. And even my normal 1,000 word posts couldn’t cover everything I want to say. So, today, I’ll give you an outline of the series, then start filling in details tomorrow.

First, I’ll review the big picture behind consciousness integration and how it relates to enlightenment. This is the basis for the technique, and it introduces the main concepts behind my version of enlightenment.

Then, we’ll discuss a simple model of enlightenment I got from the spirits who developed this technique. I like simple models because I can imagine each step. Complex models can be mystifying, and cover up misunderstanding with complexity. Simple models either work, or they don’t, and this one seems to work.

I’ll close with my experiences from using these techniques, and some examples of thought patterns that changed.

Teased yet? Come back tomorrow for the first installment.

If you liked this post, consider visiting my current blog at mikesententia.com.

Strategic Sorcery on Enlightenment

Thursday, March 15th, 2012

You found my old blog. Thanks for visiting! For my new writing, visit mikesententia.com.

Jason and I have been discussing magick for enlightenment. You should read those links, and particularly the latest post, before continuing.

First, let me say I really enjoyed Jason’s post. This isn’t my field, but I love exploring new things. I’m going to mostly discuss ideas and ask questions rather than giving answers. (Or I’ll try to, at least.)

What Enlightenment Is (For Jason)

Jason wrote:

It is about waking up from the fragmented and mechanical awareness that we all have so that we can see what reality is. Once it is found it is about allowing that non-dual awareness to regain its natural stability. In this way we understand the ground of being.

I had to look up “non-dual awareness,” which means being aware of the universe as a whole entity, rather than seeing yourself as separate from it, more or less. (Feel free to leave comments and tell me how wrong I am about that.)

Like some of you, I’m fairly new to Jason’s writing. I think this is one of the keys to understanding him, though: He views enlightenment through a meditative, non-dualist approach. (Buddhist, perhaps?)

My approach focuses more on understanding emotions and bringing your responses in line with what they are when you’re at your best. But non-dual awareness sounds interesting, so let’s explore.

Magick for Enlightenment

My second question was, “What magick practices focus on enlightenment?”

Jason’s answer seems to be “a lot of them.” Which is fair, since there are lots of approaches. But it’s not that useful for someone new to this enlightenment-based magick. So let me ask a slightly different question: What are some identifying features of practices that lead to enlightenment? Perhaps an example of a ceremonial practice focused on enlightenment, and one that isn’t, would make it clearer.

Also, my real reason for asking is so I can try it. If you have a good practice for someone with very little ritual experience, but a good deal of other magick experience, that would be awesome.

How Do You Know It’s Working

This part I really enjoyed. Three items to note:

First, Jason makes a great distinction between reaching the state occasionally vs reaching the stage of development where you can sustain the state. I find the same thing in a lot of magick: There’s a difference between being able to do something on a good day vs being able to do it on most days vs being able to do it whenever you want, even if you’re distracted.

Second, I like the way he explains that the proof is in the putting*, and calls BS on some “Crazy Wisdom.”

*That’s the original phrase: Putting, meaning “the doing of the thing.” Not “pudding.”

Third, and this is may be something I have to experience: I don’t see the connection between a non-dual view of the world and acting in an enlightened manner. I believe that you can be both, and there is probably a correlation between the two. But I don’t understand the causal connection, and ultimately, focusing on non-duality seems like a round-about way to change your reactions to situations and behave in a kinder, more thoughtful way.

Given that I’m new to this type of work, that’s probably a matter of me not seeing something, rather than a statement that there is no connection. But if I’m confused about this, other people probably are, too. And finding the way that A causes B usually helps design a more efficient version of A that causes B better.

Other Projects

A quick note: I owe a bunch of you posts and emails, all the way back from February when Mike asked what I see when I connect to my knee. Those are all coming. I just finished the article for the anthology book today, and I’ll start responding to your questions tomorrow. Thanks for your patience. I haven’t forgotten you.

If you liked this post, consider visiting my current blog at mikesententia.com.