What follows is a great interview very generouly provided the founder of Yogic Engineering. He has a refreshingly modern and practical approach to the exercises inside of IIH, PME and KTQ with I am sure many of his viewpoints not fitting well with the traditional ideas. I welcome this as it is easy to be blind to new perspectives and interviews like this make me reasess many of the things I held as true.
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SOFB: Thank you for agreeing to this interview. Please tell us a little about your background, training prior to IIH and how you came to discover Franz Bardon and his teachings.
Multiple Taoist and tantric Buddhist trainings, Kundalini Awakening via Glenn Morris methodology, some Native American training from American Southwest and some Golden Dawn work via the lineage of John Michael Greer over a 20 year period. I had read the books earlier, but they were inaccessible to me. Too wordy and technique was not spelled out in a modern (i.e. “ bullet points”) format. A few years went by then I found out about Rasmus giving a seminar near where I was living and crashed it.
SOFB: There are many students working on IIH and have been 'stuck' in the early stages for many many years. Whether that be VOM or Visualisation, what suggestions do you have for these students to help them progress in their studies and what do think is the cause of so many getting stuck?
Multiple traps are built into the book to derail training.
The biggest of which is the insistence to not progress to the next level before finishing the previous one. Remember: The perfect is the enemy of the good. Follow-on exercises actually reinforce earlier work and vice versa.
Second, the book is poorly organized. For example, you need to learn the electric and magnetic forms immediately after learning how to generate vital energy. Electric and magnetic split into the elemental forms, not the other way around. I’ve also had students experience non-dual light just from aggressively working the magnetic and electric in equal amounts.
Third, the book does not clearly delineate an effective form of body training. For example, the easiest way to train electric/magnetic is using posture and an expansion of the ligaments/tendons of the body. Without a good body training method, it is difficult to generate the various energies strongly enough to get the proper sensation.
If I were on my own and had no one to work with, I would do the following.
First, take up Olympic weightlifting. The whole body movements in this both build and integrate the ligament and tendon network in the body. This is going to make your energy work much stronger. Notice, I did not say bodybuilding or Crossfit.
Second, get your bodyfat below 15% if a man and down to around 20% if you are a woman. Vital force forms your base in the early stages of training. If you are obese, this isn’t going to work well. I am agnostic as to diet, but do keep in mind that a vegetarian diet increases sensitivity while an animal protein heavy diet increases throughput and power. Just because the energy “feels” strong doesn’t mean it is strong. Likewise, if you cannot sense energy, you cannot manipulate it. Sensitivity and power exist in a continuum in the beginning, but you need both to get anything done.
Three, map out all of the skills in IIH and put them onto a spreadsheet. Next write each technique down step by step. You do not need all of these either. For example, I don’t do the pendulum or black/white mirror exercises and have never taught them. Likewise, many of the tool based exercises while convenient are not necessary for development. At the end you should wind up with between 50-60 skills. Line these up in a row one after another.
Get a string of beads. Next practice one skill after another for five minutes each using the string of beads and a digital clock. The whole series should take about 3 hours. Add in your tendon training work and call it four hours. If you do this twice a day for a year, you will have mastered the whole book. I didn’t do it this way myself, but that would be the most efficient method for a solo practitioner.
I don’t work with the black and white mirrors for one simple reason: human beings are bad observers of their own behavior.
It is made worse by the fact that as of 2019 we live in a society that gives children participation trophies in sports, fat acceptance is apparently a real thing, and people are constantly reinforcing bad behavior by telling others how great they are at something when in fact they suck. The world of southern Germany and the Czech Republic where Franz Bardon lived, and most importantly grew up, in the 1920s and 1930s was very different in this regard. People constantly told you, particularly elders in a position of authority, what you were good at and, most importantly, what you were bad at. People of this era knew without question what their strengths and weaknesses were.
I do not teach, or practice, the mirror exercises as it typically results in people manipulating what they think their good/bad qualities are. Which explains a lot of the strange, and imbalanced, behavior this community exhibits. People are literally brainwashing themselves. Generally, it results in people strengthening the parts of their personality they like. Simply put, very few people in this work seem to come to terms with the fact that, as people, we just are not that smart.
The good news is that this is not necessary in the end. Every time you work with the sense gate exercises (sight, sound, smell, etc.) you are working with elemental associations in the body. Every time you work with the elements you are working with the qualities of omniscience, etc. If you establish magical equilibrium often enough, it feeds back through your system and things balance. All without the risk of actively unbalancing yourself. The whole process on a raw level takes a few months and works itself out over a period of several years. Which is why I stress the need to establish equilibrium frequently throughout the day.
SOFB: Looking at IIH what would do you believe to be the main skills taught and how do you address these skills in your teaching of students? Do you follow the book to the letter or have you found more efficient methods?
The three crucial skills are body training, sensory gate exercises and the ability to focus the mind.
Body training, as already stated, isn’t really covered in the book beyond some general information on “asana”. Body exercises strengthen and integrate the ligament/tendon/fasciae in the body, which allows you to run more energy in a much stronger manner through the body. It also allows a practitioner to ground more subtle energy into the physical.
The sensory gate exercises allow you to detect and manipulate the various energies. This is largely what “energy work” and chi gung is about. It involves sensation, perception and emotion. You don’t need to do the sensory gate exercises to move large amounts of energy. A good powerlifter, or martial artist, is a dynamo of energy that will almost always overwhelm a meditative practitioner. You just need to be strong. It is also why the best practitioners historically almost always came from the warrior caste. You do need the sensory exercises to focus what you are doing and to provide a controllable application.
The focusing exercises allow you to shut down outside distractions and reinforce the will. By simply focusing enough, you can often bore your way through many forms of resistance. Raw force of will has put men on the moon, raised empires, created billionaires and generally been responsible for every significant innovation in human history. And if that isn’t enough, once you die and no longer have a physical body, focusing mental energy is apparently how you build power in the afterlife.
As such, the three most important exercises in the books are: the asana exercise, vital breathing via building the ball, and the single pointed focus exercise. If you can do these three things, you can unlock the rest of the book.
With my students, I start with “building the ball” which is a take on vital breathing where you build a ball of vital energy between the hands. When they can do this, they can sense vital energy and manipulate it. Then I teach them the electric/magnetic exercises via fasciae work. Finally, I teach them the single pointed focus exercise where you reproduce an object in you mind. A pen works well for this. All of that takes about four to eight hours depending upon the individual.
About 85% of what I teach, excluding the body training, is from the book. Everything else is easy to understand if you have mastered the skills in the book. And that is Bardon’s biggest gift to all of us. The skills in IIH represent what most people would develop if they stayed at a practitioner’s temple in Asia over the period of about 18 months. They essentially represent your basic training in the meditative/yogic arts. The advantage here is that you do not have to give up your personal freedom, become a monk and live under the construct of that system. The downside is that no one is supporting your practice.
Three additional items are worth mentioning that do not come from the book that I teach and find to be invaluable. The releasing techniques, breath retention and the orbit technology. The first two are necessary additions and the third is a nice to have.
The releasing techniques as covered in the Sedona Method (https://www.sedona.com/Home.asp) are a major addition to what I teach. This allows a practitioner to quickly discharge emotional flare ups, control pain and get rid of energetic excesses as they sometimes form when training other skills within Bardon’s system. It is also something that can be taught as a standalone technique that anyone can use. The Sedona Method people get a little carried away with this technology, but it both works and is very effective.
Breath retention work solves the issue of people becoming overly energetically empathetic that makes living in crowded cities a problem. It re-establishes the proper functioning of the sphere of sensation around the body (what the Chinese refer to as your wei/guardian chi) and has a general tonifying effect upon the health as well. Classical pranayama works well, Tao Semko teaches a form of Trulkhor (taosemko.com) that is good too and my favorite system is the Emei Sudden Enlightenment School as taught by Linhai at sacredjourneys.org.
Finally, I have found that awakening the kundalini by using the orbit technology developed by Dr. Glenn Morris provides a density to a practitioner’s power that other forms of development lack. Dr. Morris is deceased, but his two lead students (Santiago Dobles and Tao Semko) have further refined his work over at https://kundaliniawakeningprocess.com/blog/
SOFB: You have a very practical down to earth approach in your writing, that these skills are outcomes of the correct input. So would you say that if the student does enough input then they will get the results regardless of their moral compass? You mention on your blog having met many highly skilled cult leaders and criminals. If this is the case, what then is the relationship between ennoblement of the spirit/moral thinking with our progress in hermetics?
No one says you need to be a good person to drive a car or cook a meal. It is almost taken for granted that high level performers in most fields are complete assholes in real life. Their excellence came at the expense of something else. Regarding the moral compass question, why would it be different in meditative/yogic practice? I will add it is harder to focus your efforts when you are doing drugs and screwing around.
The ennoblement of the spirit really falls into two main functions as I’ve seen it practically manifest. First, serious, long term practitioners gradually lose their bad habits. Notice I said gradually. It can take years. You stop smoking, because it negatively impacts your ability to split vital and astral energies. Then you stop watching porn, because it makes your vital energy take a dump. Five, or six, years and several bad habits lost later, you are a boring guy who does nothing but practice and work like a demon.
Second, the mental stability resulting from frequently establishing equilibrium gives you a pause before you do something bad. It becomes that voice in the back of your head that says, “doing a bunch of coke and banging all of these hookers is a waste of time.” But that is all it is. You still have freewill.
And that is the most dangerous part of evil men who practice. They are actively, and often dispassionately, doing bad things, because they want to do them. While karma gets the final vote, that vote may be decades away.
The cult leaders, rapists and thieves I’ve known who were into this stuff did have a couple of interesting trends in terms of their working lives. First, they routinely go through these build, and bust, cycles where whatever they are doing builds up rapidly and then at some point implodes. Two, they have no real friends. No matter how well they magic other people up, sooner, or later, their real personality comes through and they are alone again. They do have followers though. And these can be more dangerous than the cult leader for your personal safety.
As for me, I’m not really into the cult thing. Way too much work. As a friend mentioned when watching one sex cult leader at work said, “Just watching this guy keep all of these bitches in check is exhausting.”
SOFB: If you do not mind sharing how have the skills developed in your hermetic journey assisted you in your work in dangerous locations around the world?
I’m going to include my other meditative/yogic work in this answer as that will cover the more physically demanding/dangerous periods of my life. Completely invaluable. I would be dead without it.
From the enhanced awareness that comes from the sensory exercises, I avoided many otherwise fatal encounters. Your body will give you about a ½ to 1 ½ second lead on fatal activity when properly trained. Some say this can grow up to 5 seconds. This is more than enough to get the jump on the bad guys or simply move out of the way. I missed two suicide bombings in Jerusalem by less than 5 minutes and was literally around the corner from a third that injured over 100 people.
The more ligament/tendon focused exercises gave me a physical durability that is unparalleled. Not many people can walk away from a parachute canopy failure with a broken back (from gold bell training). Accelerated healing to the point that broken bones would heal in a couple of weeks and deep lacerations in days (condensing techniques merged with running the orbits and a young healthy endocrine system). Tendon training also results in an odd form of speed over short distances. Under the right circumstance people have told me I blurred when moving. Neurological response and speed are off the charts. Not even a hint of PTSD. I get angry about the things I wasn’t allowed to do, not the things I did.
The more internal work I did, the easier the ritual work got. Once, I even consecrated a flashing talisman to Saturn in a Conex in Afghanistan. It worked great. Of course, I blew out an entire bank of generators the next morning. Akasha really doesn’t mix well with power generation equipment. I ran it for 90 days straight.
SOFB: Now let us look more specifically at certain exercises/Skill sets in the early steps.....can you give a little tip in the following areas or share some insight on these stages.
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'.
I don’t see why not. You can learn the basic techniques in an afternoon with a good instructor. But, as I said earlier, the perfect is the enemy of the good. Practice a group of techniques in a kind of loop and everything goes much faster. Also practicing with a group of friends accelerates things. Keep a good journal after each practice and review it once a week.
VISUALIZATION: Are we expecting too much here? Some have said it is more about the ability to focus on the thing for 10 mins than seeing the thing.
Five minutes is adequate for the first book. If you can work up to 30 minutes, as another friend’s school requires, the elements really come alive. I was staring at paint flecks on a wall for up to 20 minutes at a time as a kid. So, this was never really a personal challenge. I was a weird kid.
VITAL FORCE: How do we know we are truly breathing in VF? If we believe we are does it make it so? As FB always says it is about our Will and Imagination and that the entirety of IIH is built upon this.
Inhale through the pores of the skin into the center of the body. Exhale thru the palms of the hands visualizing a ball of energy resting between your hands. Play with the ball. Make it bigger. Make it smaller. Rotate it. Rub it over your forearms. Over time, maybe as little as a few minutes and no more than a week, you will begin to feel the boundary layer at the edge of the ball. This is vital force. Once you can do this, it is a matter of splitting the energy into different forms for everything else.
It isn’t about will and imagination.
It is about sensation.
Tactile learning is the fastest in my experience. Mainly because our sense of touch is the least degraded of the subtle senses. In many ways, you have no sense of touch without the subtle aspect.
ELEMENTS: Same as for VF, can we easily fool ourselves into thinking we are achieving this? Or does fooling ourselves actually make it so. Additionally, how do we distinguish between our external behavior and the internal element actually transmuting as we tackle our mirrors?
If you have done tendon training the energy manifests much stronger than without it. Additionally, train the mother letters of the Kabbalah from day one. Fire is Sch, Air is A, Water is M and Earth is A umlaut. By doing it kabballistically it manifests much stronger and allows you to practice three-part (color, sound, sensation) concentration from the beginning. It takes 10 hours with each energy to generate them cleanly. And 100 hours to make it strong. Always counterbalance in the same session with the opposite (fire and water, air and earth). If the energy becomes unbalanced you will know it. Air to excess, for example, results in an asthma like attack. It is neither subtle nor pleasant. When you get it, it is physical. Not imaginary. Without tendon training work, this is hard to do.
DEPTH POINT: Could you explain the difference in experience with entering the depth point of a thing and entering into the spatial center, as sometimes it can be easy to misinterpret this.
Depth point training was never hard for me. That said, I always paid a lot of attention to establishing equilibrium in the beginning multiple times per day and every time before I tried techniques like this. To the degree I can give advice, establish equilibrium firmly before trying to access the depth point.
SOFB: After IIH the journey continues in PME and KTQ. Now I know these are very personal experiences but wondered if you were able to share anything regarding your experiences with beings of PME and the impact beginning KTQ has had upon your hermetic training.
First, the books are out of order. Do KTQ before PME.
I personally have a heretical, and unpopular, view on the issue.
The planetary meditations are essentially a trap. They really only exist into the astral/mental realms.
What happens is a spirit grabs ahold of a specific frequency of energy and proceeds to be a specialist in that energetic form. In many ways this represents a bottom up organization of the information. The advantage of working with a spirit is that they can tune an practitioner’s system/body in an almost digital manner to that frequency, disable internal safeties meant to protect the body from projecting too much, and provide much useful information regarding how to use the energy. In exchange, they get to express themselves in the physical world through you.
Understand this point.
They will manipulate your senses and thoughts with greater strength the longer you work with them. This represents an abridgment of your free will. If it is a mutual goal, then it is potentially worth it as you can progress with something using far less effort/quicker than doing it on your own.
But you get worked in the process.
And these are creatures that gave up enlightenment for the pursuit of power. Think about this.
They also get replaced from time to time and are generally incapable of recognizing the truth when they see it. Frequently they are completely amoral and do not understand the limitations of the physical body.
Once I invoked an entity that specialized in qing gong/light body skills. The next thing I know I’m bounding three feet into the air and bounced off a puddle of water. I thanked the spirit and sent him home. My spine hurt for three weeks afterwards.
Physical evocation results in less mental manipulation, but you cannot really tune into a given frequency this way. And it can be physically dangerous. Look at the works of Dr. Steven Skinner for more information on how to do this.
Also, a lot of the problems people encounter regarding the planets is closely related to their experiences in life. The first four planets are fairly universal in terms of human experience. So, any adult can access these. After the Sun things become highly contingent on personal experience.
For example. If you have never been to war, Mars is going to be very harsh. In many ways this is like obnoxious music being played outside a restaurant to keep the bums away. It will get louder until you get inside. And if you have no personal experience with it, it will come across as very confusing and harsh. For me, it was all about martial brotherhood, loyalty, honor and fitness. Frankly it was quite pleasurable. I’ve spent the better part of a decade deployed during my life and been in half a dozen conflicts. We fought some of the most evil human beings walking the face of the planet. You enjoyed killing them.
Likewise, if you have never run anything, or have never been in charge of an organization, then Jupiter will be unpleasant. If you have never sat in judgement over another human being, Saturn is going to be difficult.
Finally, if you really look back into the distant past most sources maintain that the planets are ultimately malevolent regardless of which one you are dealing with, while the stars are beneficent. Food for thought. I strongly recommend Gordon White’s book Star Ships for information regarding early human history, the transition from stellar to planetary meditations and it is a good background reading on how academia is not your friend. He is a chaos magician out of the UK, and the book is researched extremely well.
The letters represent a top down organization of information, and power, regarding fundamental forces/building blocks in the universe. They are also unintelligent and essentially blind forces, but you do not get manipulated either. So, accessing specific information is really difficult without looking around a lot. A hammer doesn’t tell you how to use it. Neither does a brick. The parallel is similar here. Bardon did us all a favor when he scoped the main issues associated with each letter at a given level of existence. His book was remarkably incomplete in some ways as well.
The organ associations are all screwed up. Do not put the letter K in your left ear. The letter R contains many surprises.
I suspect his secretary constructed the book from notes left over after his death. Maybe a rough draft at best.
SOFB: Lastly is there anything else you would like to add about Hermetics or training in general? Any news on the book you mentioned you were writing on your blog?
Come hell, or highwater, my book will be published in the fall. It is slowly coming out of publishing purgatory and I will announce it here. First as an e-book and later as a print on demand. These will be low cost. Finally, if enough interest is gathered, I may have a limited print run done on acid free material and leather bound. This will be very expensive, but it will be personally signed.
I am working on a training program for conducting the stellar meditations. Sometimes these are referred to as the “Trials of Heracles”. That should take another year or so. I am still figuring out some of the associations
A friend is working on a video instruction program for the IIH incorporating much of what is discussed here. It should begin its rollout around the time my book is published in the fall. It will contain much of the supplementary material discussed here. I will likewise make an announcement when that becomes available. It will reorganize some of the material from the first book as well to speed development and will be available on Vimeo for download.
Finally, always remember that no mind/body disconnect exists. What we do is physical, practical and tangible. The engineering works even if the science is crap. The difference between theurgy and thaumaturgy is in the application.
A Roman road builder didn’t need to know materials science to build a road that carried a given load using specific materials. If you exceeded his known limits though, he had no idea what was going to happen. It is no different with our work.
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