Today we are very excited to present an interview from Scott Turner.
About Scott: I’m Scottish, naturalized American but living in Chile for 15 years where I lecture classes focused on television post-production in university. Married with 3 kids.
You can visit Scott’s website here.
SOFB: Firstly could I ask you to introduce yourself to the readers, please tell us a little about yourself and how you first discovered Franz Bardon's books.
Scott: I convinced my wife to let me go try this ayahuasca stuff with the local shaman. I ended up taking it very regularly during which my awareness of magic was awoken. I read hundreds of magic and religious books in that time trying to figure out what was going on. I had downloaded one of those huge archives of hundreds of books and I actually read a lot of them. I kept seeing IIH but for some reason skipped over , until one day I opened it and read it all in one sitting more or less. I connected with it immediately and found it comprehensive and easily understandable but I wasn't prepared for some of the events which were to come as I delved into this magical knowledge.
SOFB: In every interview I like to ask some standard questions about sticking points found in IIH:
VOM: Franz Bardon said he expected step 1 to be completed inside of 2 weeks. Do you think this was realistic or the first of many tests of the students 'Will'.
Scott: Probably not a realistic timeline to master but it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t forge ahead and also return to it later to reconsider under the lens of more experience.. For example, true thought control can be quite difficult to achieve, as is true self knowledge. Perhaps sometimes we may think we have achieved both of these things down only to realize later that we didn’t really know what we were doing.
VISUALIZATION: People tend to spend years here expecting IMAX like results, what is your advice for those on these Step 2 exercises. Did you follow the method from IIH or come up with your own approach?
Scott: I had success with most of the visualization exercises after a lot of practice, but for me it was Robert Bruces ‘Energy Work’ book. Once I had mastered that I came back to Bardon with newfound enthusiasm and found it very easy.
VITAL FORCE: Some people cannot feel the accumulation, what can they do to feel it more intensively?
Scott: I’ve tried to teach this and id say 95% have difficulty feeling accumulation, although I think it's a difficulty in just believing it might be possible and also knowing what to look for as a sign that it's beginning to work. Essentially its about the accumulation of the focus of consciousness. For me when i started, it felt like I was ‘just imagining’ things . I felt some kind of underlying force but i didn't know how to connect with it and this was after a couple of years of following various paths from Bardon to Regardie’s middle pillar. I was having events occur but i didn't feel control over them. My big breakthrough came after an Amazonian kambo frog medicine ceremony in which the hindu-oriented shaman invoked Shiva and I suddenly felt a field of energy around me which is still with me. The next day i discovered the book ‘Energy Work’ by Robert Bruce which somehow dropped into my lap at the right time and which I consider to be the ‘Accumulation for Dummies’ guide. It’s a good supplementary detour for people have difficulty with Bardons techniques. A week after I read that book and implemented the ideas, kundalini shot through my crown chakra in a spectacular mystical event which I could only compare to a DMT experience where I met Shiva and Sathya Sai Baba in some kind of temple with jewelled elephants. I just watched in amazement. This was a mind blowing event. Of course without that energetic initiation by the shaman that book might have just been another book, but with the newly found awareness of energy which was swirling round my body every word of the book seemed like an amazing revelation. Imagining energy accumulating in the body was suddenly an orgasmic experience. Even now if i imagine energy accumulating in say my little finger, the sensation of bliss I get can only be compared to sexual bliss in my little finger. Its crazy.
So even though Bardon cautions against mixing paths or jumping ahead - and I took those cautions very very seriously at first because I made many costly and deeply frightening mistakes when I started - my view now is you have to feel it out for yourself. You will find yourself being guided to the right places when it is time for you.
I can confirm that mixing traditions can be very dangerous. MY experiences with Amazonian shamanism came before i discovered Bardon. When the 2 collided, I thought I was going completely nuts.
It was still worth it.
ELEMENTS: Getting in contact with what Rawn Clark called the principle of the element can be difficult as at that point the student has no real idea of what this and when it is make believe and when this goal is finally achieved. What are your thoughts here?
Scott: I don't think the goal is ever finally achieved. This is an ongoing process of reconsideration and purification of consciousness which allows us to continually understand at a deeper level. Again supplementary material can be of great value. The free book ‘Tattva Shuddi’ From Divine Life Society has excellent insights into the nature of the elements. I had great difficulty connecting with the earth element but was guided to greater understanding of it through studying tarot...specifically Jodorowsky's AMAZING book ‘Way of the Tarot’ And William Grays work ‘Inner Traditions of Magic’. When i started realizing that the materialization of divinity is really what the earth element is about I was able to visualize earth in a different way, and low and behold in Step 9 of IIH Bardon himself points in the same direction when he talks about infusing the elements with divine qualities. So sure you can imagine earth as the physical material of earth and sand or whatever, but your missing the point. It should be visualized IMO as the manifestation of the omnipresence of God manifested in physical reality.
DEPTH POINT: This is perhaps a big development in the IIH where a big shift has to occur in order to understand the point Franz Bardon was trying to make. Can you comment on the significance of this exercise?
Scott: THe ‘depth point’ is a way of verbalizing non physical reality and encourages the mind to drop below physical appearance. In some ways this is analogous to another of Bardons ideas to imagine that there is a soul looking through the physical eyes. At first this is an imaginative practice, but the imagination is greatly misunderstood. The imagination is a technological interface. This is made clear using ayahuasca. My experience is that you can only truly connect with it through long hours of meditation upon energy and elements. Whereas my initial experiences with meditation were sad and unproductive, that all changed after that energetic initiation. It was easy to meditate for 4 hours because it felt so incredibly good physically. It was 4 hours of bliss and i never wanted it to stop and then of course I noticed layers of awareness peeling away showing me the way to higher consciousness. You have to seriously engage with meditation to advance in my opinion. Even using medicines like ayahuasca, while they show you the way, you don't really have the understanding how to achieve the same states unless you involve yourself in prolonged meditation.
SOFB: Also can you comment on the difference between the spatial center of a thing and the depth point of a thing.
Scott: Bardons comments on Archimedes became amazing to me because I found that being able to focus on any point became a gateway into other dimensions as the layers of physical illusion slipped away. THIS was the mystery of the 4th dimension revealed. I suppose in some way I am lucky because a lot of this was not the result of careful consideration and meditation upon Bardon, but because of all the Amazonian medicine I had done opening up my awareness wider than I thought possible. But also there are various layers of consciousness you have to move through to get to that stage in a controlled meaningful and non frightening way. Starting by ruminating on what a depth point might mean to you might be the place to start. Start by allowing your mind to move back and forth between spacial/physical and depth, however you imagine it. Ponder the differences. Don't try and imagine what Bardon meant, try to use your intuition to discover where your own mind leads you with that idea.
In its own way this is a form of meditation because your mind is focused completely on this play between spatial and depth.
GESTURE: Not much is ever heard about the application of Gesture training to create our own finger rituals. Has this been a useful part of your training and if so how have you applied these rituals in your training and daily life.
Scott: MY development has run parallel with IIH but not completely. I played around with gestures at one point but wasn't really connecting. So I moved on. My focus has really been on the exploration of internal energy and I have only recently begun exploring the projection of energy from the interior to the exterior. Also, I have avoided more ritualistic applications because I didn't want to make any mistakes. I made many mistakes as a result of being elementally imbalanced when i started. These were VERY dangerous mistakes. Ritual implies an objective or a magical intention and I have taken a more neutral meditative approach generally to avoid trouble. Plus I don’t really have any intentions other than knowledge.
SOFB: Though of course working through IIH has to have had an enormous impact upon who you are, did this have any overt impact upon on your working and public life and how others saw you?
Scott: Take something as simple as the mirror of the soul which asks us to change specific aspects of who we are - To truly consider negative aspects of who we are and reveal them to light. Choose only one aspect, says Bardon, and work on that. That has had profound effects on the way I perceive myself and also upon my marriage and family. The question seems to be whether or not you can truly accept what you perceive as darkness within yourself. Often what happens is our view of what is darkness is wrong. The things we view as darkness are often not the problem. The problem is our projection of negativity onto the behaviour or quality and from where does that emerge. Why are we projecting negativity? This is a key issue in becoming elementally balanced. I work in an art school where probably 99% of the staff has taken ayahuasca, so my public changes were very accepted.
SOFB: We asked earlier about sticking points that some have trouble with but in your rise through IIH did you also come across steps that caused you real trouble? If so, how did you get past this and move on?
Scott: THe only steps which really matter at first are Pore breathing and Inhalation of elements. If you can’t do this nothing else works. I found it difficult to visualize at first until that energetic initiation, but there are very good supplementary materials available too. Mantak Chia's ‘Bone Marrow Nei Kung’ is in many ways the same practice on steroids and was very helpful as was Robert Bruce,s ‘Energy Work’. Granted some of these have a different approach. For example, Robert Bruce focuses on chakras which at first glance might seem quite a different practice. But the chakras are elemental repositories and meditation upon them also produces elemental balance. I found chakras to be much easier to work with at first and eventually augmented my chakra meditations with pore breathing and a more Bardonian approach. Another good supplemental practice is Nidra Yoga which also moves consciousness around the body which approximates the movement of consciousness suggested by Bardon. Again Divine Life Society have the definitive free book on this entitled ‘Nidra Yoga’. My view is that if you have difficulty, seek more information elsewhere. It is abundant.
SOFB: Now let us move onto the subject Ayahuasca as I know from some of your posts that this has been a part of your journey. Can you tell us how you came to get involved with it and how it impacted your path? From the little I know from your website it sounds like an amazing experience
Scott: I have lived in Chile for 15 years. I heard about ayahuasca and was fascinated by the stories but was married with kids and didn’t see myself getting to Peru. I had NO interest in magic or consciousness at the time. I was an atheist who never meditated and liked to drink beer . However, by chance, I discovered a shaman 3 miles from my house. I started doing ceremonies twice a month for a couple of years. The first message ayahuasca gave me was ‘MAGIC EXISTS’ . At the time that was mind blowing, but i hadn’t seen anything yet. Of course ayahuasca is only 1 plant in an ecosystem of over 4000 medicinal amazonian plants many of them equal or more powerful than ayahuasca. MY shaman was also a sanangero, a specialist in the super powerful master plant chiric sanango and I participated in dietas of chiric sanango in conjunction with ayahuasca. This as well as many other plant dietas changed my life forever. Several times during ceremonies I had what could be described as kundalini experiences, including once when my shaman opened my chakras by singing icaros into them. After a couple of years I started to investigate ‘what is magic?’ because clearly it existed. One day I stumbled upon and read IIH. After i read it i went out into the garden and thought I would try moving my consciousness into a leaf to see what happened. I guess because my consciousness was already so wide open from all those ceremonies I made pretty much instant contact with an elemental. It kind of freaked me out . Later that week having dinner with my mother I accidentally evoked a demon. I was just sitting chatting and suddenly became aware of a horned female character identifying itself as Astarte. This was a terrifying experience and many others were to follow which I learned may have corresponded to what Robert Bruce calls ‘chakra strobing’ - basically having so much blocked energy in a chakra that when it is released trans dimensional communication is possible. This is classic imbalance of the elements.
Something had changed and this began maybe 2 years of uncontrolled spontaneous demonic evocations and other less frightening mystical experiences. This is what can happen without elemental balance. What seemed to happen is that when I focused my mind on anything I would instantly move through the depth point into other spiritual dimensions. After more study and consultations with other shamans I began a process of plant dietas which assisted the elemental balance a lot. I also did various kambo ceremonies and I think it was the 6th one where I had the energetic breakthrough. After that and a couple of years of deep meditation I achieved control over evocation so that it generally only happens intentionally through meditation. Ayahuasca is an extremely powerful substance which gets a lot of press but its the other plants which are really more the teacher plants. Plants like huaira caspi, ajos sacha, uchu sanango, bobinsana, punga amarilla, camalonga...the list goes on and on. Many of these plants specifically teach you how to use energy, how to remove entities, how to create healing recipes and how to do shamanic magic using song and symbols.
SOFB: The entities you experience through Ayahuasca and/or D.M.T how do you feel these relate to the view of reality we are given via IIH, PME and KTQ. Where would these entities fit into this picture?
Scott: I've thought a lot about this over the years. MY view is that KTQ and shamanic icaros are basically interfaces into the same power. KTQ focuses on sound and color and musical vibrational correspondences. So do shamanic icaros and these icaros and wisdom are usually in my experience only shared by the plant if you are occupying a space of pure consciousness. Well the healing knoweldge is shared at that level. If your vibration is lower, you get other kinds of knowledge which are dangerous. For example how to enchant and seduce. I haven't done much work trying to integrate these. Each is already so staggeringly powerful. I confess though that there is something so incredibly beautiful about the shamanic path. It is not structured and organised like KTQ but the plants speak to us and guide us and often in beautiful symbols and lead us to new levels of consciousness. For example, one tree started showing me where the chakras exists in trees and how to connect with them. Eventually it is not necessary to take the plants. They speak to us still when we meditate and can guide us into full realization much as Bardon envisions his course of teaching will do.
Maybe someone will say these plant spirits are lowly vegetable kingdom spirits, but the ayahuma tree is also found in India and is present at all the temples of Shiva. I know im not the only person to have had an overwhelming Shiva experience taking this plant medicine.
Generally taking a tree we can sometimes meet the tree spirit itself but that golden pillar of light which is its spirit is often surrounded by protective spirits who test you to see if you deserve to be in this golden hallowed place. If you are lucky enough to advance and pass the tests the tree seems to become a kind of gateway and you can meet any spirit from any dimension you care to, although often the tree itself maintains a dominant voice in your mind. The voice is often strict and demanding, but the level of knowledge they have to impart is astounding...overwhelming...sometimes too much lol.
Ayahuasca ceremonies are known for their evocations of spirits. The shaman uses protective incense or tobacco smoke to seal a circle around the participants. The light is lowered. Invocations/Icaros are incanted. Of course unlike PME, the user might have less control over where exactly the journey will go. The discipline and control of magic is very attractive and I think Rawn Clark has pointed out that controlling consciousness through meditation leads to much greater perceivable depths. This is difficult for ayahuasca or dmt or mescaline users to believe, but there are similarities.
Its fascinating that Bardon pinpoints which elements are suppressed by which substances, Is he right? I'm not sure. My view of ayahuasca and the medicine ecosystem is that it is designed to balance the elements when used correctly. The plants specifically tell you exactly how to do it. It is not left to chance.
Sometimes I see the Ayahuasca ecosystem as the Key to the True Consciousness.
SOFB: Now you offer some courses on your website, could these be said to be the fruit of your experiences with Ayascha and Hermetics? Could you tell us more about these as they look perfect for beginning students of IIH.
Yes I would say that was true. Especially the first class Reprogram your Matrix which in some ways was based on IIH. As I moved further into meditation I was more and more pulled in the tantric direction and my last class Tactics of Tantra goes into that in some detail.
A lot of online offerings I've noticed offer exercises and some insight and are very good but with my course I really put a lot of effort into finding textual references to my own experiences. So if i say such and such a technique might be useful based on my experience , I usually back it up with reference to give it more context into whatever tradition might be relevant. I put quite a lot of effort into all of them and i’m not just gliding by on my accumulated knowledge.
SOFB: Mental Travel and Franz Bardons specific approach to Astral travel. How significant were these skills in your development. What I mean here is was your worldview impacted at all after completing these steps in what you experience upon being successful in the training?
Scott: They didn't have much of an impact until later. I found myself astral projecting spontaneously during the period before sleep. The first time it happened a spirit came to me and told me to repeat a mantra 3 times -’ hail Mary, mother of grace, I'm ready to fly’. I did it and was projected out of the house. Through the roof. At one point I would just close my eyes and already be in another dimension. But these experiences were uncontrolled and tapered off as I gained energetic control. My guess this was due to kundalini awakening which i didn't really acknowledge until I received shaktipat earlier this year. Eventually, I actually ended up doing a similar technique to Bardon’s. Imagine a copy of myself in a mirror then blow energy into it and I am out of body. But generally I don't formally try to astral project much. I just meditate and i find myself meeting spirits pretty fast. Often dead people and the like wander into awareness but I tend to avoid them and move to higher vibrations using the elements as a guide to where I am at vibrationally.
SOFB: How important is it to do the Astral Travel training of Step 9 in the way Franz Bardon explains rather then creating some sort of Astral double or illusory body without the Mental/Astal separation before integration? As much of what is read about all seems to point to practitioners taking the later approach and not the former challenging approach of Bardon.
Scott: Bardon is the expert on this clearly. I haven’t thought about it so much and dont have the granularity of awareness that he had. No shame in admitting that. I tend to work intuitively with the information that comes to guide me.
SOFB: PME and KTQ.
What have these books brought to your practice? We know these are very private but would appreciate anything you can share.
Scott: I’ve kind of avoided PME just because I can’t be bothered with all the ceremony and because I can evoke pretty much any spirit I want through meditation. However, its true sometimes i work ceremonially using just the imagination which is something I think Bardon mentions and certainly Wlliam Gray mentions this in his VERY excellent books. While I might draw a circle of light imaginatively, I am way more interested in feeling what i call the viscosity of consciousness, which is becoming super aware of the elemental qualities as we alchemize thoughts from earth through to akasha. When done successfully the metaphor of a lotus allows one to be conscious of all these planes simultaneously. It has a quality of such perfectly beautiful transparency which is beyond imagination while exhibiting these subtle changes in ‘viscosity’. At that level infusing the elements with the qualities of God is about the most wonderful experience to be had.
This of course ties into KTQ which is basically completely based on infusing consciousness with the qualities of God. I’ve done quite a bit of it but to be honest have found myself out of my depth a few times and had to pull back very carefully. You might think you can handle invoking the first 5-10 letters but infusing your consciousness with this much infinity can be dangerous. You have to move slowly as Bardon advises.
As a side note on dangers, William Gray has an exercise which involves using the elemental shapes of the tarot - swords, wands, cups, pentacles - as metaphors for thought and then working on infusing each thought with these metaphors and then maybe changing the form of them, for example making the swords (thoughts) larger. It’s another form of infusing consciousness with divinity. However, you MUST be elementally balanced. I didn’t even try this exercise out formally but as i read it my mind just started ruminating out of curiosity. If you've ever seen mickey mouse in the sorcerer's apprentice, this is what started happening in my mind. Basically an infinite loop was created where all my thoughts were extending out into infinity and without the comfort of knowing ‘the trip will be over soon’. Some information in some books can lead to madness if you are not prepared. Luckily I had countermeasures available and lived to warn other curious souls. I was lucky. This was way more scary than any demon I have ever met. Be very careful and honest about what you are really capable of.
SOFB: Did the way you saw IIH change after moving onto these books? In that it was preparing you for something?
Sure, but there's a transition period where you wonder ‘how much power do I actually need’ or ‘omg i really am in God’s workshop’. Transitioning the mind to the reality of infinite creative possibilities can be overwhelming. This is not a game. Karma is real. Tread with great care and with the right intention to do good.
SOFB: Lastly is there anything else you would like to add that you feel is important for students of IIH.
No one talks about this but I think its an important topic. Sexuality is skipped in most books but it is where, for many people, imbalances are rife. I advocate occasionally using sexuality as the object of meditation. THere are a couple of reasons for this. Firstly sexuality is by its nature fire and most people have no issues allowing their mind to ruminate over sexual content. People tell me ‘I can’t visualize a ball of energy’ but they have no issues visualizing a bikini model for extended periods of time. It's a matter of becoming more conscious. This makes extended meditation and the generation and accumulation of energy very easy and a lot of fun. There is alot of talk in new age circles of tantric sex or energy orgasms. I have experienced this but in my view this should be a non physical non masturbatory approach. It is a contemplation of and complete acceptance of the shadow.
Of course people like Lon Milo Duquette point to different interpretations of sexual energy for example in his book on Sex Magic, Tantra and Tarot he encourages ritualistic sex to exhuation while focusing on tarot images and the sharing of sexual fluids. Crowley also has some amazing meditations in the Libers which are worth checking out in this vein. I’m not sure any of this is necessary. I wonder about the implications, but im sure its fun.
Its common to say that tantra is not about sex, but if you actually read the tantras you will find plenty of sexual content. Sexuality is the primary manifestation of divinity within us and we throw shade upon it and avoid it. This lower octave of divinity provides a direct passage into higher consciousness when it is treated as such.
This does have its dangers too and its possible to become obsessive and not release the sexual object and move to higher vibrations. Dangers include direct confrontation with demonic and vampiric energies. This doesn’t happen so often, but it’s worth mentioning as extreme countermeasures are sometimes necessary. These kinds of spirits are extremely dangerous and can totally corrupt and take over your thought stream. Go wisely.