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Messages - Ekstatikos

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1
Hello and Goodbye / Cheers Veritas
« on: April 28, 2016, 05:56:32 AM »
Thanks for a few years of interesting discussions Veritas. It's been swell, but the swellings gone down now, so I'm out, and I won't be back. Time to move on permanently from my OEC forum-dweller phase. I got what I came here for a long time ago already actually, and for a while now coming here hasn't had any further utility for me, and the atmosphere is a bit stagnant of late (maybe just a phase). Fortunately, there seem to be enough other places for people to go, and the gap left is already filled by various other things, things that are becoming increasingly easy to find for those who care to look. That, at least, is exciting. It's an exciting time for magic and mysticism, and Veritas has been a part of that, and in turn I'm glad to have been a part of Veritas.

Thanks to everyone who made my time here worth it. Go forth and conquer - let true success be your proof and reward, and may God bless you.

Cheers!

~ Pulse

2
...you back-stabbing disgusting snake...

Oooh, ok, colourful. In fact, it has made me want to wax poetic as well:

Well, go fuck yourself
you sorcerous, deluded
shit-postmodern fool.

And with that haiku, I finally bid you adieu, you insufferable asshat.  :biggrin:

3
Magick / Re: Polarity and the Balancing of Forces
« on: April 13, 2016, 06:10:07 AM »
Thanks for the thorough answer Shinichi.

4
Magick / Re: Polarity and the Balancing of Forces
« on: April 13, 2016, 01:59:50 AM »
Shinichi thanks for this excellent exposition - it's given me a lot to think about! I do have some questions:

And broader forces like LVX and VF, which possess Electric and Magnetic polar components, likewise have very different and nuanced aspects - which means there are very different and nuanced applications for these forces depending on what exercises and skills are applied. You can't just work with these forces and expect them to automatically encourage balance in your mind, soul and body. Other steps have to be taken to ensure Equipoise.

Because, again: “Neutral” =/= “Self-Balancing.”

So, I imagine that yes, neutral does not automatically mean self-balancing - but a neutral force must be more inclined towards balance, so that perhaps it is easier to use such a force for the purpose of balance?

Now, you also say that 'other steps' would need to be taken - this seems reasonable to me. Could you elaborate though? ArcaTuthus, for example, mentions the idea of practising at more or less opposite ends of the day, in my experience this does help. Also, I think it almost goes without saying that if you are sick or impaired, then yes, working with the astral light or vital force is contraindicated. I would also imagine that a technique which involves drawing in the astral light in a very specific way (entering the body in a particular area, with particular accompanying visualizations and breathing patters, for example), would be one way of attempting to utilize the astral light in a way that is balancing. Would you agree? What other things would be necessary to make sure the astral light is having a balancing rather than a destabilizing effect?

The vital force, on the other hand, seems more straightforwardly balancing to me. Besides the usual contraindications of not doing accumulations when ill, or trying to balance the practice by practising at opposite ends of the day, or again, making sure that any thoughts or emotions don't become impressed during the accumulation process, I have to say that my experience of vital force accumulations is that they really are more or less naturally balancing. Do you believe that as many 'other steps' need to be taken when working with the vital force (in order for it to have a balancing effect) as with the astral light? If so, what would these involve?

5
These are rather tame first world aspirant's problems, none of us here know true suffering.



Let me lecture you on true suffering you impudent, spoiled child. The best you guys can do is philosophize about how the physical body limits us or in some sense imprisons us. You sit and just talk about how the body limits us.


But you have never lived having your own body as a prison. My brother already described well enough all the pain I went through. You do not know what it is like to be trapped within your skin. You do not know what it is like to lose half your life from an illness, to have your life completely halted. You do not know what it is like to struggle to survive day by day. Due to the sheer exhaustion I suffered from I would have out of body experiences, tasting that sweet freedom of no limitations, only to be brought back into my body, into this physical prison of pain time and time again. You do not know what it is like to struggle to function day by day from the sheer exhaustion you are under as well as strain. So not only was this physically straining on me, it was mentally exhausting. You do not know what it is like to be sick for so long that you forget what it felt like to be healthy.

People's Champion,

I'm very sorry, that's not what I meant at all. I meant the issues that were allegedly caused (or exacerbated) by Ramose and Veos, not issues that were already existent (and I can see that, considering you felt your already existing issue was exacerbated by your involvement with TDS, how callous my comment appeared). I chose my words very poorly and I apologize profusely. I'm happy to retract the entire statement wholeheartedly, as Kemetin pointed out, I am in no position to pronounce what the right perspective should be for anyone's own suffering. Of course.

I think what I had more hoped to express (but failed miserably to) was that part of healing is moving on, and not holding on to anger, which I feel is unhealthy. In that context, I wish everyone who was/felt harmed TOTAL health, including psychological and emotional. And if you all in your heart of hearts feel that the process of talking about your experiences and seeking justice is part of that total healing, then that of course is your prerogative, and I pray that it only benefits you. As I said, the fact that I disagree with some of what you are saying does not mean I don't have sympathy - I'm disappointed in myself for having expressed this so badly - I apologize.

I retract my statements about 'true suffering' entirely. I'm sorry and I only wish you well.

6
I wish the teachers took your example. You are what a spiritual teacher should be like. I hope Esktstikos and Friendship can learn from you as they are teachers and you are seeing first hand how they are. I am not admitting I am perfect myself, but you have first hand seen what happens with most people who have a negative experience. They get treated quite poorly.

I'm sorry what?? I'm not a teacher at TDS (I'm at teacher at my local university, as I said earlier), and I haven't treated you poorly. I've been discussion things on an online forum with you, period, and I've said repeatedly that I hope anyone who was/felt hurt recovers entirely and finds what they are looking for. This was an extremely unfair comment and it's annoying that I have to come back to this conversation to defend myself over something like this. I wish you all the best, Rodz, I really do. And everyone who felt hurt or disappointed by TDS - of course! Just because that hasn't been my experience doesn't mean I have no sympathy for it - I've expressed that many times during the course of these conversations! As I've said before, that people got hurt is terribly unfortunate, and I sincerely hope they recover and find fulfilment. Also, my sympathy includes the sincere hope that the people involved manage to gain a healthy perspective about the whole ordeal, so that they can move on to better things - many already have, and that's great! And despite me disagreeing with people's positions, that doesn't mean I somehow am treating them poorly or don't wish them well. I'm staggered by that insinuation. Hostile environment is right... I'm done here. If anyone wants to talk about anything they are welcome to pm me (except Akenu), and that includes people from tdssanctuary. As an occult community in general, I agree with ArcaTuthus - we can do better, and as aspirants we should all consider expressing the virtue of compassion towards each other as a cardinal and sacred responsibility. I'm there for anyone who wants to talk. God Bless.

7
Well Kemetin, then your experience has been very different from mine.

I think I've said everything I've wanted to say this time round.

TDS will continue to be called home by many spiritual seekers, and will continue to have success (students achieving the goals that the school sets out to help them achieve), and in fact improve. Hopefully the school will take steps to place more emphasis on precautions, but ultimately, nothing can shield anyone from their own fate, and no one can walk the path for you, or overcome its obstacles for you.

Some will benefit from TDS and some won't. That's life. If I'm being a bit flippant then so be it, this whole thing is a bit tiring. For someone who has benefited as much from TDS as I have, there's no real point in trying to argue with someone who hasn't had that experience. I like TDS's style, their curriculum, and probably most of all the community. I have absolutely no problem with the fact that there are people who really don't. It's fine. There are many, many other places to go - I just happen to like this one, and it's worked exceedingly well for me, and that's really all the justification I need.

People who want to hold on to anger and vengeance will do that, and see how it works out for them. Maybe a few years spent in a spiritual school that wasn't for you isn't such a terrible thing, even if your health and/or ego suffered a bit for it. As far as I can tell everyone recovered anyway, so let's have some perspective. These are rather tame first world aspirant's problems, none of us here know true suffering. That being said, I truly hope that everyone who was or felt hurt recovers fully, and that they are able to move on and find true peace, health and happiness.

And, hopefully, the Veritas Magick forum will some day have meaningful activity apart from endless, circular TDS discussions.

This has been fun, as usual (I'll take a heated debate about magic over any conversation about mundane things any day lol), but I'm bowing out now. God Bless.

8
@Ekstatikos: My problem is that the school is few years old, it doesn't really inherit any ancient lineage, it doesn't have any document proving it follows a hermetic tradition (or yogic), its courses are not based on ancient wisdom, but on experimentation on its students. First students were told to X, second generation of students was told Y is the right thing and now we have Z if I count correctly. That's something a peer group should do and based on general agreement, not playing freaky with gullible students and each time telling them this is the heritage of ancient lineages. That school is fucking young and being led by 2 young twins that never even visited a real occultist, yet they claim extraordinary hermetic and alchemic knowledge including the philosopher's stone.

They don't set out to provide documents or proof of lineage. The proof is supposedly in the pudding, as it were - and people have had success with their techniques. So an institution cannot improve itself over time? Even then, I think you're misrepresenting how much the practices have changed; besides the addition of a new preliminary practice, everything is pretty much as it was several years ago. What are you basing the claim that they've never visited a 'real occultist' on? Nothing. Not indulging this anymore though - you are welcome to believe what you want about TDS, you weren't there nearly long enough to form an even slightly credible opinion.


Kemetin,

For the most part I agree. My point was not to try to imply that more precautions could/should not have been stated, but simply to counter the idea that no risks were mentioned, which simply isn't true. I don't think the TDS staff were as negligent as some people are claiming - on the other hand I would agree that there is certainly room for improvement in this area - an entire lecture on risks, precautions and contraindications would be a welcome addition indeed. Is this going to happen? I can't say.

Everything in life carries risk, and I think responsibility must be admitted on both ends, for sure. I definitely think TDS can learn from all of this. I think a large part of the problem is that the approach (not the techniques) TDS has is entirely novel; teaching Theurgy online for Western students - this is a really new and unique endeavour, and I think it's not surprising that there are going to be many, many growing pains. TDS is, in that sense, a work in progress, and I think people who don't like the possible risks involved in works in progress simply shouldn't take the risk. Mistakes will be made, and people are going to have to endure some difficulty. If someone does not think that is worth it, that is up to them to decide sooner rather than later.

If someone will counter that on the contrary, TDS has always touted how perfect it is, well, that hasn't been my experience. The TDS staff certainly believe in their system and their methods, and I think they are justified in doing so based on the success they have had. However, I've heard many times from the staff that teaching Western students online in the way they are doing it is a work in progress, and that in many respects, they are in uncharted territory. I don't think Akenu's allegation that this means they are 'experimenting' on their students holds water - at least not in terms of the general roster of techniques and teachings. But, the novel approach is in a sense, an experiment. This doesn't justify people being harmed by it, and TDS will probably do well to pay some more attention to mentioning possible risks and the like. However there is always a degree of personal responsibility involved in any endeavour - placing all the blame on one or the other end is misguided, in my opinion. If we think about it, magic (or at least the level of magic TDS is aiming at) is an incredibly demanding endeavour actually fraught with risks. Maybe TDS would do well to point this out more explicitly, and maybe those who decide to undertake the Great Work should realize that no one ever said it was going to be easy - and ultimately, no one can overcome for you those obstacles and karmas that are decreed by fate. In magic, even in the context of a school, only you are finally responsible for yourself and your wellbeing. Things are going to go wrong, sometimes spectacularly. Instructors should apply due diligence, and TDS can definitely make some improvement in this regard, but even with complete diligence some things will still go wrong - this, in my own opinion, is simply the nature of the true spiritual path. It's a journey as tasking as it is rewarding, and ultimately it is a journey taken alone, obstacles, trials and all. As the Dhammapada teaches: “You yourselves must strive; the Buddhas only point the way.”

Quote from:  Kahlil Gibran ~ The Garden of the Prophet
And on an evening a great storm visited the place, and Almustafa and his disciples, the nine, went within and sat about the fire and were silent.
Then one of the disciples said: "I am alone, Master, and the hoofs of the hours beat heavily upon my breast."
And Almustafa rose up and stood in their midst, and he said in a voice like unto the sound of a great wind: "Alone! And what of it? You came alone, and alone shall you pass into the mist.
"Therefore drink your cup alone and in silence. The autumn days have given other lips other cups and filled them with wine bitter and sweet, even as they have filled your cup.
"Drink your cup alone though it taste of your own blood and tears, and praise life for the gift of thirst. For without thirst your heart is but the shore of a barren sea, songless and without a tide.
"Drink your cup alone, and drink it with cheers.
"Raise it high above your head and drink deep to those who drink alone.
"Once I sought the company of men and sat with them at their banquet-tables and drank deep with them; but their wine did not rise to my head, nor did it flow into my bosom. It only descended to my feet. My wisdom was left dry and my heart was locked and sealed. Only my feet were with them in their fog.
"And I sought the company of men no more, nor drank wine with them at their board.
"Therefore I say unto you, though the hoofs of the hours beat heavily upon your bosom, what of it? It is well for you to drink your cup of sorrow alone, and your cup of joy shall you drink alone also."

9
Kemetin,

Well for starters, as I detailed in my last post, during my time in the school they did absolutely nothing to either ensure that people were sufficiently healthy for the practices, or to warn them that certain pre-existing health conditions were either contraindicated or would require an altered training regime. No risks were mentioned, no prerequisites in terms of lifestyle or physical/mental/spiritual health status were set. Students simply joined and were given the exercises as long as they participated in weekly Q&A sessions (and handed in short essays/quizzes for the first few months - which I rather enjoyed writing, as an aside, I was sad they did away with those).

...

Except as I said, there was absolutely no hint anywhere of any kind of risk that I recall (if I'm wrong in this, please cite an example) - not so much as a "if you have any pre-existing health problems, talk to your Daskaloi before jumping into doing the full VOA" or anything of the kind. To get information on these kind of things, students would have had to go to third party resources, at the exact time that they were being told to rely first and foremost on the information being given to them by the TDS teachers.

I'd be happy to cite several.

The first and most significant one is from the Probationer course. In fact, this used to be in literally the second lecture that a Probationer at TDS would receive. At this point, the practices expected of the student are still very light (thought observation, pore breathing, and soul mirror work), but this warning is already given:

Quote from:  TDS Probationer Lecture - Ethos: Self-Governance
This tradition holds firm to the idea that the dense body is a phenomenally important tool to be used in our lives; were this not the case, we would be living in an ethereal world where only our finer vehicles would sustain us. Instead we are in this physical world with a physical body, the primary vehicle of our activities on this plane. No spiritual practice or regime of any sorts should neglect the importance of this precious vehicle.

...

Our physical body, dense and gross as it may be compared to the finer aspects of the self, is still the temple within which those finer aspects are housed. Without it, or even if it falls into disrepair, our higher faculties cannot be utilized in this world. Even if there is no serious problem which it has fallen into, the ability to express certain magical forces through the body is directly proportional to the body’s health. A vibrant, healthy, strong individual will have a vibrant, healthy, and strong flow and expression of inner strength. Therefore, it will be seen as the sacred duty of every aspirant to these mysteries to keep the physical temple in good working condition, free of defect or disease beyond what is inborn and propelled by the forces of fate.

The student of these mysteries should invest the time required to learn proper ways to keep a good, healthy body through exercise, diet, hygiene, and all-around correct living. You are encouraged to keep up with these routines for very practical reasons with regard to magic itself. In the magical workings of this tradition, those students who are capable of expressing a vibrant inner power are far more likely to succeed at a good pace than those who are not. Some of the exercises you will be learning exert a constant but subtle strain upon the body, particularly the nervous system, and if you are not in good health and good shape, this strain can become even more detrimental to your health. The practices will also bring out latent difficulties hidden inside you, illnesses which exist on the energetic level of the elements but not yet in the physical body. Some of these will manifest and be dealt with on an emotional level, but some will have to be birthed through the physical processes to which they are analogous. A pre-existing foundation of good health will make these struggles easier, and prevent them from hindering your meditations or daily life for days or weeks.


Physical exercise is practically a panacea for the body, serving to stimulate the currents of vital life-giving power within us all. The aspirant to this science should aspire to be strong and have good endurance, which will both increase the strain the body can handle as well as give a more vibrant inner power. This does not mean that you should be a world-class weightlifter and runner; quite to the contrary, too much attention to the physical body in this manner can have adverse affects on the higher faculties. In strength, one should simply be fit. In endurance, one should have a healthy stamina. Towards this end one is advised to pick up a healthy hobby requiring physical exertion. This can be biking, hiking, mountain climbing, martial arts, jogging, tennis, any manner of sport, vinyasa yoga (the physical asanas), etc.; anything which stimulates your physical body, encourages overall health, and keeps you active. Just a peaceful walk in the sunlight every now and then! Do something to keep the body frequently vitalized with fresh energy. No amount of meditation, or at least none that the average person can hope to do, will ever replace the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. Many meditators have made the mistake of thinking as much in the past, and have failed in their pursuits because of their negligence of the body.

So there it is, right at the beginning of the aspirant's education - a warning about the importance of good health.

I thought I'd share some more examples in terms of specific practices. First, for pore breathing and the accumulation of the vital force (the latter only being introduced after the Probationer class):

Quote from:  TDS Probationer Lecture - Mageia: Pore Breathing
The mind must be controlled during this exercise. If you get swept off into random thinking, especially with any emotion in it, the exercise should be stopped for a moment while you regain control of your mind. Otherwise your thoughts and emotions will impress themselves on the energy, which will give more substance to them, and anchor them further into your psyche. This is the reason for such extended focus on personal thought control in the beginning practices.

Quote from:  TDS Preliminary Eduction Lecture - Mageia: The Vital Force
The student is reminded that the vital force is an immensely powerful energy, and in all accumulations it is unwise to push one’s self beyond reason. To that end we recommend that all students begin with seven accumulations twice each day, but not fourteen in one sitting. Once the student can feel the vital force at seven accumulations, and it does not feel straining, then he can progress to ten accumulations, twice daily. After one month of practicing at this amount, he may slowly, at his own discretion, raise the number of accumulations done up to twenty, twice a day. However, no student should raise the accumulations more than two per sitting each week. Be slow and methodic, and remember that this is no race; the wise and prudent achieve the results much faster than the quick and foolhardy.

Again, warnings are present, they are right there for anyone who cares to look. Finally, from the Vision of the Angel lecture:

Quote from:  TDS Level 1 Lecture - Mysteria: The Vision of the Angel
Again, however, many students have never practiced anything as intensive as the Vision of the Angel is. They may be new to meditation, or to practicing visualization. For those students, we have composed two beginning versions of the Vision of the Angel, each of them still highly effective, but serving as a smooth step-up system for practicing the entire technique. You may practice these at your own discretion for as long as you feel is needed to acquire the experience in meditation necessary for the full VOA. You will find that, though simplified, they will still bring amazing results. Students looking for an exact time frame should spend one month on the first version, one month on the second, and then move on to the full version of the technique. Even if you decide to go straight to the practice of the full version be sure that you read the commentaries of the other two versions first, wherein certain important things are explained.

Not exactly a warning, but a caution to proceed at a comfortable pace at least.

So, it is not the case that there was no mention of risk and so on. There was. Also, the issue of impressing things onto the vital force and thereby exacerbating things is addressed. Now the interesting part is that this is not mentioned for work with the astral light (as in the Vision of the Angel) - maybe it's less of an issue? Again, I leave this an open question.


Akenu,

IIHbuddy89: For the whole fucking time we are here talking about practice! Even if astral light was BALANCED by default (which it isn't), it doesn't mean it is self-BALANCING (then there would be no long term issues from improper practice).

Can you explain why you don't believe the astral light is balanced, or self-balancing?

...but what do I expect from school that claims false heritage AND then completely fucks off any wisdom that is already out there in the lineages they claim to be part of.

I've seen you mention the lineage claims often, in fact it seems to be something you keep coming back to. What exactly is your problem with TDS's lineage claims?


Pax_Valeos,

Side-effects of the practices

...

Even if you sat and simply watched the breath every day for two hours daily, or if you went on a meditation retreat that didn't engage in any magical practices, but simply body mindfulness or breath awareness meditation such as seen on many modern retreats, you will see most people describe an awful lot of purification going on. This is simply the case when the mind becomes still, and the energies arise within. Most of the energy, at first, is going to be spend on purifying the energetic channels from poor lifestyle, negative thoughts and a host of other things. If there is illness present in the body that has not manifested yet, the increased vitality from meditation will allow this disease to manifest. Did meditation cause the disease, or did it simply reveal it?

Every Master will tell you that meditation didn't cause the disease, it simply increased the vitality of the practitioner to such a degree that the disease manifested. This is a gift, is it not? With the disease manifested one can now take actual steps to remedy/solve it. Whether that be through Traditional Chinese medicine or it be through Western medicine depending on the issue -- this is up to the individual person to experiment and figure out for oneself.

Thus, the point being, in many cases -- side-effects from the practices are in high likelihood (I can of course not speak of every practice, nor every practictioners case) actually due to certain purifications taking place. I like to believe that the teachers in TDS are well-versed in what they are doing that they actually know how to put things together that are not harmful for students, but simply are very strongly purifying. This isn't just... for fun, or for some psychological benefit. It's for actual spiritual evolution... and anyone that has truly dedicated himself to such a Path knows that there is lots of suffering that must be gone through for enlightenment to be reached. As they say, the Path doesn't just require effort, it requires extra-ordinary effort. Something else to mention here is that those "side-effects" may simply show themselves in your life as manifested karmas. This is natural as one evolves spiritually, certain experiences will occur, certain things will manifest in one's life, and sometimes this can be very, very rough, but it is all for the evolution of your being. 

...

One size fits all

Another point to make of this is that I haven't at even one point seen people on TDS say that there are not certain things that are better for a particular person than other things. As a matter of fact, I dealt with some issues myself and I was dealt with promptly and given additional exercises to deal specifically with that matter. I think in many cases this comes down to the dedication of the student. If you are very dedicated, you will of course look to make your progress as wholesome as possible, and thus, if you feel you lack certain things or there are certain things that are not working well for you, you are inclined to talk to your teacher about it. Sometimes this can be a way of the ego saying: "I don't want to do this hard work, because I know that it will mean a lot of pain and suffering", other times there are legitimate concerns that need to be worked out. In all cases -- it is quite simple: talk to your teacher.

I find it rather funny that it almost seems like people come here and claim that the teachers are not forthcoming or you cannot talk to them. As a matter of fact, from all I have experienced, they are some of the most forthcoming people. If you ask, you'll get an answer. It may not be the answer you would've liked to hear, but in many cases (I'm sure) it will be the answer you need to hear. Another thing about them is that they they won't pat you on your back whenever you do good. They expect dedication and hard work from their students. You shouldn't expect appraisals when you do good, and in many cases, the teacher will avoid telling the student something because the teacher believes that the student has the insight to fully see to it himself. Sometimes the nature of such interactions can be very hard to understand from the limited ego-perspective.

While this may not be the case at the outer school, sometimes the most strangest of behaviours from teachers are often for the benefit of their students. Read about the teachers in any spiritual tradition and you'll see that to be the case. Some examples could be a teacher always being very harsh with a specific student because that student has particular emotional problems that needs to be dealt with. I know there are some spiritual teachers that even ridicule some of their students who have self-esteem issues. From a westerners perspective this looks outrageous, but from people that know that the most spiritual evolution can come from certain amounts of hardship and that in actuality, the teacher is doing this out of the greatest compassion, sometimes that is the case.

Those are excellent points - they have been in the back of my head but I haven't been sure how to express them properly, thank you.

10
Quote
Again, I hope that this will be taken as constructive criticism and not misrepresented as some kind of attack or victim blaming, somehow.

Hard to blame the "victims" when there are no victims at all, only victim mentality...

That's not fair, kind or tactful. And a moderator previously cautioned against this kind of thing, so be careful. While I admit that there may be aspects of victim mentality going on here, that doesn't take away from the fact that people suffered and are justified in trying to hold those they believe responsible accountable. Whether or not those people are responsible for said suffering is, as we can clearly tell, still up for debate, but sweeping statements like this don't help. I understand that you strongly disagree with many of the views expressed by those who feel they were hurt, but that doesn't mean you should wholly suspend your sense of empathy. Except towards Akenu. Akenu deserves everything that's coming to him (jk jk :D)


It still would be good to hear from a teacher from TDS as well so let's see what happens.

This post will probably be the closest to what you are looking for, it's from a TDS assistant-teacher ('Daskalos' in TDS's terminology), responding to a previous thread on this same general topic back in October 2015: http://forums.vsociety.net/index.php/topic,22156.msg224066.html#msg224066

Take into account, of course, that a lot has happened since then.

11
Kinda doubting you considering how much you have been lying.. at least Estakikos acknowledge some of the complaints as legitimate where you just blanket it under falsehood. I would definitely take what you say with a grain of salt.

I won't blame you for misrepresenting me again this time, since it's a fine point, but let me be clear: just because I acknowledge that someone believes themselves wronged legitimately (as opposed to say, making shit up in order to defame people HAS RAMOSE ABANDONED HIS STUDENTS???!!?!?!), that doesn't mean I believe that wrongdoing actually took place in the way described. Conversely, it doesn't mean I don't believe that that person did experience harm. However just because I do believe someone underwent suffering, and that they are at least justified in trying to explain how they believe that harm came to them, that does not mean I believe that that harm came to them in the exact way they describe it, especially if there is reason to suspect the contrary.

Now, combined with a general atmosphere of persecution (what I have previously referred to as a witch-hunt mentality) and various dodgy things done by people associated with the allegedly harmed party, that does unfortunately throw even more doubt on whether the wrongdoing actually took place in the way that the alleged victim is describing. Which is very unfortunate. If we want to be clear about the things that matter, like was someone hurt, if so how, and by whom, then it's better to drop the slandery and tabloidy shit, since it muddies the waters of the entire thing. Ultimately, I'd like to believe I'm on the side of justice as opposed to either this or that faction - as I said, in the highly unlikely event that even most of these allegations (or at least the most serious of them) hold water, I will gladly reverse my position on TDS's status as an institution of the highest calibre. However, since the evidence supporting the latter conclusion (in my personal experience) so far is extraordinary, it will probably take equally staggering revelations for me to accept the former idea.

Please see this as constructive criticism - I think the premise of tdssanctuary is relatively solid, that is, that magical orders should be held to a very high standard in terms of conduct - however, the way it is being done so far is just awful, and seeing people seriously trying to defend that kind of approach is very discomforting. If watcherofthedawn and tdssanctuary are indicative of the general state of critique in Western magic, this is a sorry state of affairs indeed. At least the former is tongue-in-cheek, whereas tdssanctuary seems almost blissfully unaware of how ridiculous they may appear to even the most casual observer. Again, I hope that this will be taken as constructive criticism and not misrepresented as some kind of attack or victim blaming, somehow.

12
It cannot harm someone in any way... Because we use it with intention for purification... But even if it didn't, astral light is balancing...

And that's true because your supreme leaders told you so...

...

Considering our past discussion about IIH and your obvious mastery, would you be so kind and explain how soul mirrors work? You certainly have to know that, right? As I said before, it is related. And Ekstatikos can do the same thing, actually.

Or how about you just get to the point. I don't see what's so hard to explain about what I've asked you. Turning around and asking me rhetorical questions instead is annoying, but if you keep doing it I'm just going to drop this and it will remain that you have not provided any reason to believe your claim. But, just because I am genuinely interested in your position (since my Socratic hope is that through this discussion my own understanding of the characteristics of the astral light might be advanced) and am not just playing some obtuse game of wits or something as you seem to be - let me prompt you again: You seem to be implying something about electromagnetism not being balancing, or something to that effect - care to elaborate?

Now, People's Champion knows how it's done. Please watch Akenu, as someone straightforwardly explains and motivates their position, in a single post no less!

I have held off on responding for a long time because of how bullheaded I keep seeing people ignoring what I have said and others. So I am going to summarize it so simply anyone can understand it.

The Olympic meditations increase psychic energy. So tell me, if you were to say increase the psychic energy (let’s go even simpler, the astral energy even) of someone, who was say had nervous system issues or someone who does not have control of their emotions, what do you think is going to happen?
It isn’t going to be suddenly their chaotic emotions suddenly calm down, you are only going to amplify it.

Their energy goes out of control and exhibits a similar pattern of those afflicted with PTSD. I am mentioning all of this without getting into any sort of alternative medicine. I have seen a technique similar to the VOA and that author had the kindness to actually give that warning, whereas TDS says absurdities such as “It has cured diseases! It will make your life better! You’ll unlock Siddhis! This is all you need for enlightenment!”


Considering one student had their limbs turn bluish/purple and they themselves had issues with the meditations, and it wasn't just him either as it was also me, again shows that if their system was truly perfect, it wouldn't display any sort of strange issues like that, especially when it happens over a bunch of students. Contrary to what you think, if it affects a big enough percentage of students (which it has, it is going to manifest in different ways though) then you have to begin to question the validity of their system. She was also teaching this in front of other students, expounding on why when one does harmful energetic practices it is going to cause problems.

See Akenu? No beating about the bush, no posturing and rhetoric, just straight to the point. Incredible.

People's Champion, thanks for the above. I'm not just joshing with Akenu, I do think the above was well and simply put, and it makes a lot of sense. However, of course, one problem with one part of a system does not invalidate the whole system. Moreover, as FrienshipIsMagick pointed out, correlation does not imply causation. But, at least the logic involved with "increasing psychic energy may amplify psychic problems" is relatively sound. The principle is well known enough from vital force operations - my question is whether this applies as much to the astral light - and I guess this is an open question - if anyone has an opinion on this I'd love to hear it. Caveat: I don't think it's fair to say that they should have known the alleged dangers for themselves - I think it is fair to say that the onus for pointing out such dangers would be on the instructors. That is if such dangers are real and can be directly causally linked to the exacerbation of existing problems, which I can't say I feel has been conclusively established.

Finally, Rodz, maybe you missed my earlier reply to you, or maybe you're just not up for responding? In any case, I don't want to get near this thing going on between you and FriendshipIsMagick, but I gotta advise you, ease off the blatant ad hominems, if you want to improve at this logic thing. Just saying. It's a pretty basic fallacy, so, you know, try to avoid it. Or don't, but then don't expect people to take you very seriously.


Ekstatikos, you said that you have been a student since 2011 and never been a teacher. Then later you said that you are also employed as a teacher and have students?

So, you are a teacher at TDS?

No, I teach philosophy at my local university. Sorry for the confusion.

13
So, based on you electromagnetic fluid is self-balancing and since the vital force as electromagnetic, then it is self-balancing. Can you tell me once again why health issues exist?

I said the astral light has a balancing effect - I didn't say anything about whether the electromagnetic fluid or the vital force are self-balancing or anything of the sort. We are talking about the astral light specifically - if you want to mention the electromagnetic fluid and the vital force as well then make their relevance to the discussion clear instead of posing rhetorical questions and wasting time. If you're trying to refer to the idea that health issues are caused by imbalance then I'm not sure what point you are trying to make?

IIHBuddy to be fair, if the Olympic meditations employ the astral light then they do technically involve the manipulation of astral forces, towards the goal of psychic purification sure, but it's still a manipulation of an astral force. You're right to say that Akenu still hasn't explained the polarity issue though, unless he is doing so incredibly long-windedly by first starting out with explaining the basic principle that the astral can affect the physical. I'm waiting in suspense for the next piece of the puzzle.

14
Wow, so you want me to speak about something that actually goes through Magick as the whole and if I refuse, it's a sign of laziness/ignorance/both, but you have no "intention of arguing about cosmology with me". You do understand that this "cosmology" actually does relate to your question, right?

You need to explain your perspective on cosmological metaphysics to me in order to answer my straightforward question? Also, the issue of whether there is a practical problem with the polarity of the astral light is 'something that goes through Magick as the [sic] whole'? How? Don't answer that. If you don't want to answer the question that's fine, but then nobody reading this really has any reason to believe your claim that being unaware of some polar concern when working with the astral light is a necessary precaution to doing, for example, meditations that involve its use.

Why? Ekstatikos, I told you few posts back. Do you always read just the first sentence and reply? Astral part always has some physical counter-part, manipulation with astral equals to manipulation with physical reality. So using Astral plane as the playground for stupid experiments based on ideas of twins who never worked is a VERY bad idea.

You're completely side-stepping the issue - and I affirmed to you that I understand that the astral can affect the physical, so maybe you should turn that critique of not reading on yourself friend.

IF the astral light CAN have a negative effect on a person THEN 'messing' around with it in the wrong way would be a bad idea. You haven't given the specifics of how you believe the polarity of the astral light implies that it can have some specific malefic effect - or at least, you haven't explained how to avoid that - you've simply said that a person would need to work with both polarities since working with only one would be bad (I imagine you mean it would create imbalance, followed by unwanted effects caused by said imbalance). As a counter to this, which you haven't been able to disprove, both me and IHHBuddy have claimed that since the astral light is electromagnetic (amongst other reasons that I could go into if you would like me to), it has a naturally balancing effect (and you would necessarily always be working with both polarities), which is beneficial, whether on the astral or physical level. I hypothesized that since that is the natural effect of the astral light, only some form of extreme operation would be able to make it do something unbalanced, malefic and against its own nature, and that the chances of this happening with a beginner or even novice practitioner were virtually nil. You didn't counter this point either. Again, this leaves no-one with any reason to believe your claim. If it's too much trouble for you to explain, that's fine, but don't expect people to take the claim seriously then if it can't even stand up to this kind of cursory scrutiny.

15
Wow, so you want me to speak about something that actually goes through Magick as the whole and if I refuse, it's a sign of laziness/ignorance/both, but you have no "intention of arguing about cosmology with me". You do understand that this "cosmology" actually does relate to your question, right?

You need to explain your perspective on cosmological metaphysics to me in order to answer my straightforward question? Also, the issue of whether there is a practical problem with the polarity of the astral light is 'something that goes through Magick as the [sic] whole'? How? Don't answer that. If you don't want to answer the question that's fine, but then nobody reading this really has any reason to believe your claim that being unaware of some polar concern when working with the astral light is a necessary precaution to doing, for example, meditations that involve its use.

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