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States of Consciousness, Magic and Dreams
The three things specified here: states of consciousness, magic and
dreams are not meant as a limitation, but a
way of acknowledging that this is a wide field of endeavor. Bookwise, we study
states of consciousness first. Class participation wise, we do energy work,
which can be thought of as one of the basic ‘conditioning exercises’ for magic.
Dreamwork starts as homework, since we haven’t yet worked out a way to have
effective, dream-rich nap time in class (half a joke, half not).
Our goal here; the practical reason we study this topic at all, is first to
learn and then to measure what effect one's inner paradigm/state
of consciousness can have on objective reality. There are plenty of sayings
(and seminars, and so on) built on the basic idea that attitude can effect
reality. The word magic is another way of describing some applications of
that same principle.
We study the theory then practice some application. We document what
we do, so that we can see our progress, or note the lack of it, and find more
effective exercises. One beginning; we practice sending and receiving energy.
People pair off and sit with hands held close together. One ‘sends energy’ or
‘doesn’t send’, the other ‘receives’. 10 attempts, documented, then the
partners switch roles. Over time, people usually get better at sending well,
and receiving well. Some have a talent for it, and sometimes a particular pair
will work very well, or very poorly with each other. This is a very simple,
yet effective and practicable technique.
States of Consciousness by Charles Tart An incredible book. However it
reads like a textbook; it’s not by any means a casual or easy read. It's
biggest value is in giving us a new vocabulary with which to address this
area of study. Mastery of that vocabulary can be a challenge. Yes, that means
it's a pain in the *ss.
Creative Dreaming by Patricia Garfeild a good overveiw
of dream incubation and recording techniques.
Inner Work by Robert Johnson. Builds on Garfeild's work; has many divergent
techniques to communicate with other aspects of ourselves.
The Jungian-Senoi Dreamwork Manual by Strephon Kaplan Williams.
Once you get past the huge ego (and that can take some work) this is a lovely
adjunct to both Garfeild and Johnson with lots of suggested techniques for
honing dreaming skills.
Much of this will be simple documentation at first; keeping a dream notebook
comes before ‘doing fancy things’ in one’s dreams, just as simple sending and
receiving energy comes before more complicated leading of spells in ritual.
Learning a chant comes before using that chant to achieve a trance.
- Dream an answer to a question.
- Work a healing spell.
- Do trance work.
- Do energy work (sending and receiving), document the results and find
ways to improve your skills.
- Participation in ritual. Eventually you will lead one.
See activities above. When we are in full teaching mode, all of us will be
doing energy work at home, and then together. If you are not self-motivated
enough to keep up with the 'at home' part, that will soon become obvious to those
that are keeping up.
There will be worksheets for all of the main books (and some of the supplimental ones). If you
are really a glutton for punishment, you can take a look at them now:
Chapter one worksheet for States of Consciousness by