Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Tricks of the path

I have now been learning spiritually for twenty years, with no master at all. That is nothing special. It should be only human to spiritually progress, it should be recognized as a natural process. Because, if we are all honest, and this is crucial on the spiritual path, why DO we actually want to learn?

Chance is, we want to gain power. Power over our own life, maybe sinisterly gaining power over others. Chance is, we are afraid, and knowledge helps you to be less afraid. But all in all, if you strip it all down to the most frightening aspect of our life, we are aware that we must die, and death is alien to the living. It is so by nature, and it is a part of nature. I do not want to bore you with a rant about how society bans death from our reception, but instead I want to tell you how I see this.

We are first traumatized by coming into existence. BAM! Lights on, and blazing at that, pain, noise, stress. Once we get accustomed to being alive, we recognize another fact: That everything has to pass, to fade, into non-existence again. We then seek for comfort, we gather souvenirs, we yearn and long for love, we want to make it last, and instinct drives us to propagate, and that is only natural. But love is another riddle of the real world to us, and the description does not even start to come close to the subject. Knowledge coming out of the ever-blatant ego is not helpful in any way... this knowledge can teach you how to calculate, how to construct things and matters, how to lead your outside life. But your inner self is not touched in any way. It cannot teach you how to deeply and sincerely love without being destroyed by the hurt it might inflict on you. There is to be found another conflict of the soul; it hurts to really love, love for love´s sake, but it seems the only way of comfort in a fading world. And, if we hear and listen to the faint call of the soul, and dare not to drown its song, we want to learn.

At least I wanted to learn. I wanted to know more about this funny sprite within, and I did a lot of crazy things on my way. Along the way I recognized that there is no happiness, but barely happy moments - but is that so indeed?

I ask many questions, and question most of the answers given; and, following the guidelines of my ancestors, the advice given by the moon on ancient dolmen sites, during rituals, but more so while simply having a sip of tea sitting on a stump under the stars. I cast runes and interpreted them until the runes appeared to me in tree and lake and the song of creeks, the sunshine in the leaves and the roaring of the stag. I trod the paths of the wildstock silently and swiftly, until the deer did not shun me anymore. I asked the steel and the steel answered with a fiery roar, I asked the earth and it gave me silence. I did many rituals, carefully reading them out at first, repeating them freely,  telling stories and tales and writing at first, until it became second nature. And as I did all of this stuff many, many times, I then forgot how it was made. I forgot how it was properly done, and just did it. You can try this out for yourself. Sit down on a stump and read this part of a vowel permutation as long as you wish:


Remember the vowels stand for the Ogam letters, as well as runes, as well as Hebrew signs and that these  letters all have a kenning and a number value. Breathe in, then release the vowels in one flow of breath.

You might as well forget about all the intellectual stuff about them. For me personally, this is a great exercise that is crucial for most things I do, be it a ritual or achieving inspiration for ex - tempore poetry or satires, for squeezing the extra bit of mental power out of this feeble body when needed... it is a simple method to achieve a flow mindset on demand.

If you remember their semantic and numeric value, you can construct poetry as easily as doing the 1+1, but it´s not about construction. Instead, rather use the flow mindset the exercise can provide you with to meditate, and split your mind in half, one half pondering about how to construct, the other half flowing freely, not stopping anywhere. To me, this is crucial. You could also try to split your mind farther still, one part maintaining an everyday attitude. Try to do some easy calculations, or think about what to cook for dinner or whatever to achieve this.

What I want to illustrate is, that this task is technically very challenging, and do me a favor, do NOT try this out if you have any psychological impairments, take psychopharmaceutic medicaments, suffer from epileptic fits or have just taken funny mushrooms or any such shortcuts. At first, you will try to do it intellectually. Trust me, it´s next to impossible. Just learn the Kenningar over and over and over, until it becomes second nature. Then do the breathing part, over and over and over again, until it becomes second nature. Only then do the meditating part, and only after you have accomplished this, try the concentration challenge.

This is, at least in my book, what in Rúnatálthattrs Odhinns is called:

"Then fruitful I grew,    and greatly to thrive,
In wisdom began to wax.
A single word    to a second word led,
A single poem    a second found."

Anyway, what is crucial to me there again is that a single word leads to a second, one deed finds another, one poem the other attracts. This is a somewhat fractal logic, if this sidestep may be allowed, and it is a characteristic of the path.

Experience leads to new experience, wisdom to new wisdom, and thus I walk my path. But how is experience gained? By careful construction or by fate, by meditation or by action? In my opinion, it is made of all this, but foremostly by stopping and at the same time not stopping with your mind. Contradictory at first, until you visualize that you simply have to move swiftly. 

As for a visual training exercise you could try out standing at some distance away from a singular tree. Take a small stick, a pen, a pencil or any such like, and hold it at arm´s length away from you. Focus intently on the pencil. Then focus on the tree. Repeat at least a hundred times. Reduce the intervals between focussing, but remember to maintain a clear vision of the object.

To relax your eyeballs, close your eyes, and roll your eyeballs against your closed eyelids in both directions fifty times each. Then let your eyelids droop while focussing the tip of your nose. Repeat the first exercise then. Do three cycles of these exercises. By doing so you enhance your physical vision. But there´s also a psychological side to it; we tend to stick to one object at a time, and, it has to be admitted, this focus has a purpose. We actively keep out a lot of visual information by reducing our physical (and psychological) vision. For instance, if you have an open heart to all the worry in the world and try to do something about every little hurt someone somewhere on the planet is suffering, chance is, you will get insane in no time. So we shut out a huge amount of information, to remain sane in the head. The challenge now is to remain sane, but building up just the right amount of ignorance. be continued;-).