It’s the beginning of a new week, time for some more answers to your questions. I am trying to group these together thematically. This post is focused on mind and energy.
You’ve mentioned before that you are (or were) a practitioner of Dzogchen. Is there a particular lineage and/or teacher that you would recommend? Are there any that you recommend in the USA?
Namkhai Norbu is the most accessible, but sometimes the actual Dzogchen can get lost amidst all the vajra dance and other stuff he has going on. Still, he is solid. Lopon Tenzin Namdak doesn’t teach much in the US, but he is one of my most important Dzogchen teachers. Grab his book Heartdrops of the Dharmakaya.
I’ve noticed at times when I’m focusing more on magical practices I will see coloured lights in my peripheral vision or when my eyes are closed and sometimes when they’re open. They’re usually small and bright, of different colours like blue, green and yellow. Any ideas what these are?
Thigle’s. Bits of the pure elemental makeup of reality popping into the appearance. In Dzogchen they appear when resting in Rigpa and interacting with them using darkness and light is a key component of Thodgyal. They also appear during some magical operations, this is not necessarily because your mind is resting in Rigpa though. It can be caused by disturbance of the space around you, literally unwinding reality a bit, or it can be cause by a build up of prana in the channels that lead to the physical eyes. I used to see them a lot when I did Regardies Watchtower ritual as a regular practice.
Could you kindly describe in detailed manner sandpiling practice once again – its purpose, background and how it should be done, in what time frame you should expect results and so on.
This is a meditation in the Strategic Sorcery and TBYM course, so I don’t want to go deep into it here. But to answer your three questions:
Purpose: to concentrate the mind and disturb normal perception leading to expanded consciousness.
Backgound: some crazy ass new-age lady taught it to me, but it works really well and I love it.
Timeframe: if you are not getting results within three times, its not for you. It’s one of those “OMG this is incredible” or “what? I don’t get it!” kind of things.
The use of psycho active substances in ceremonies is something that seems to come up quite often in my reading. So my question is more of a request for your thoughts and opinions on the subject. Is there a legitimate use for these substances in sorcery and / or general spirituality?
Yes there is a place for it for sure and when I was younger I dabbled… If you read my Genesis of Thelesis article you can get a glimpse into that period of my life. I think that there is a lot written about it already, about set and setting and all that, but I would give the following pieces of advice:
1. I don’t find it useful as a permanent fixture in practice. Get in, get out. Find your way back to those open doors using other methods that don’t involve substances and you will be able to stabilize them and make them a part of you.
2. Let it teach you, don’t try to force it into a ritual context it was not designed for. For instance don’t do a long ceremonial evocation and expect a substance to let you see and speak clearly with the spirit or scry or anything else like that. That’s not how it works.
3. Know what the stuff does. They are not all the same do not do the same thing. People in western magic need to get a lot more discerning about altered states and the differences between them
4. Going gonzo is not always or even often what you need. There are folks out there who make flying ointments and such with legal psychoactive elements that do make you trip balls, but shift you just enough for you to do the actual work with ease.
5. It is not a necessary part of work.
How do you deal with some of the more spontaneous and overpowering experiences resulting from energetic practices such as the one you describe in Sex, Sorcery and Spirit? In particular, how do you ensure that you are stable enough to deal with normal mundane life when you are undergoing such experiences?
First thing is I don’t do exercises that will cause such experiences before I have to function at full capacity.
The second factor is that I did a lot of the work that overpowers the mind and disturbs reality back in my 20’s when I did not have much of a career to worry about or family to care for. I had the freedom to fall apart if needed, and I did several times. My 30’s were more about taking those experiences and stabalizing them and deepening them and integrating them into my normal consciousness. My 40’s has thus far largely been about teaching the stuff I learned in my 20’s and 30’s…. :-).
There are still those overpowering experiences, and I still push myself to hit new levels, but the basic grounding as well as the ability to operate without grounding at all, is all established.
TL;DR there is no one quick fix for this. You just gotta keep at it and make it the new normal.