Use of different triggers in TOT initation rituals

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Use of different triggers in TOT initation rituals

Postby jmiller » Fri May 12, 2006 10:17 am

I just listened to the first half of the recently available recording of Jim's lecture. I highly recommend it.

http://heruraha.net/viewtopic.php?t=356

He, one part, hints at the use of different levels of light, types of movements, modes of communication, and so on during TOT initiation rituals in order to produce specific physiological reactions, facilitating communication with particular parts of the brain/psyche/whatever.

To whatever extent you TOT initiates can speak of this without violating oaths, did these triggers develop out of or correspond to parts of older rituals, including the use of and removal of hoods, display of symbols, circumambulations of candidates, startling candidates with swords, etc? Or did an analysis of the resulting physiological reactions require substantial revision of the use of such things? Just wondering as I go back through Golden Dawn rituals to analyze them in this light.

Does anyone know of any published and public material on these sorts of techniques?

Please let me know if this question is inappropriate and I will remove the post.
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Postby DavidH » Fri May 12, 2006 10:34 am

Trying to be careful not to violate any oath, I will say from what I have experienced having gone through several initiations, Masonic, Martinist, TOT, and some others, that they all do this to one degree or another, like the examples YOU gave of the sword, hoodwink etc that you can read about in available Masonic books. Personally I found that the TOT initiation did it to a MUCH more effective degree, a greater extreme, better timed, and left a lasting effect on me till this very day while others were forgotten after a few hours. When done poorly, an initiation can resemble a bad stage play, but when done right, you can feel the power and it has a strong impact on the psyche.
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Re: Use of different triggers in TOT initiation rituals

Postby Jim Eshelman » Fri May 12, 2006 11:56 am

sasha wrote:I just listened to the first half of the recently available recording of Jim's lecture. I highly recommend it.

http://heruraha.net/viewtopic.php?t=356

Sasha, I'm delighted you're enjoying the talk, and I appreciate the plug for the CD. :)

He, one part, hints at the use of different levels of light, types of movements, modes of communication, and so on during TOT initiation rituals in order to produce specific physiological reactions, facilitating communication with particular parts of the brain/psyche/whatever.

[...] did these triggers develop out of or correspond to parts of older rituals, including the use of and removal of hoods, display of symbols, circumambulations of candidates, startling candidates with swords, etc? Or did an analysis of the resulting physiological reactions require substantial revision of the use of such things? Just wondering as I go back through Golden Dawn rituals to analyze them in this light.

I'm not sure if I'll end up answering your exact question set, but I'll try (drawing the line at discussing exact ritual content). It isn't an either-or. The rituals are already significantly altered from the G.D. originals (although remaining in conformity to all but the most minor details of the Cipher Manuscript outlines). Without crossing an inappropriate line, let me say that most of the things you specifically mentioned - removal of hoods, display of symbols, startling candidates with swords - aren't the sort of thing I was talking about. (Notice I didn't say whether or not they were still in the ritual :twisted: )

Circumambulation is one place these things have been incorporated. The style, pace, and sometimes even direction of circumambulation can communicate a great deal to the brain through its physiology. Two examples with enough details to make the principle clear:

(1) In one section of one ritual where a specifically lunar mode of consciousness is being brought to the forefront, movement of the candidate through the temple uses a mixture of directions and rhythms, along with a slightly slowed pace and controlled lighting, to specifically play to the hind-brain and R-complex brain functions. The theory, which appears brought out in practice, is that exposure to those things which are the province of a specific part of the brain will bring that part of the brain more into activity. It's just an extension of the use of rhythm, repetition, reduced light, etc. in ritual overall to divert more of the brain's energy to subconscious functions than to waking-conscious functions, reinforced by specific scents (for example) which drop straight to the limbic system.

(2) A specific ritual has three consecutive segments where movement in the first one is molasses-slow, movement in the second section is a normal pace, and movement in the third is rapid, brisk, energetic. Besides the rather obvious conscious effects from such a change in pace, these movements correspond to the symbolism of the ritual segments and, in combination with lighting changes (mentioned below) successively place activity on different regions of the brain and (so goes the theory, and it appears to work in practice) routing energy from one area to the other, thus creating specific pathways between them.

I know that's still vague, but I think I'm answering your questions about the sort of thing that is done.

The big one, though, is light! (Ha! Who'd ever have guessed that light would be a major tool in initiation?! :lol: 8) ) I've written and spoken about this in public before, so here goes.

Physiologically, when we are exposed to sunlight or sunlight-like conditions, the brain creates more serotonin, forebrain activities are accentuated, Irises constrict, and other physical and neurological changes occur. Conversely, when we are exposed to the absence of sunlight - night-like conditions - the brain stops serotonin production and begins producing melatonin. Forebrain activity subsides and hindbrain activity increases. Irises dilate (much as they do in situations of amazement and discovery); and, as before, there are other physical changes. Obviously these also produce psychological changes, some unique to the individual and some pretty generic.

So - to put it simply - we reduce the light when we want to reduce forebrain involvement, increase subconscious and hindbrain involvement, set the conditions for increased astral perception and sensitivity, etc. We increase the light when we want to do the opposite.

This is a main reason that very little ritual is done in "supermarket bright" settings. Partially reduced light is a better environment for it.

Let me give you one recurring example - without mentioning specifics - but which you should be able to take right back to the published G.D. rituals and see what I'm probably talking about and how it might work.

In the "points" of G.D.-type rituals where there is dramatic reenactment of "crossing" Paths on the Tree of Life, a single message is communicated three times. First, it is communicated in symbolism intended to speak directly to subconsciousness (with only minimal addressing of self-consciousness). Second, it is communicated in didactic language intended to speak directly to self-consciousness (with only minimal addressing of subconsciousness at this juncture). Third, it is communicated in a way that is primarily verbal but has the candidate's attention focused on complex symbolism, so that a summation of the same content is being given simultaneously to the subconscious and self-conscious parts of mind to effectuate their collaboration (a primary goal of the whole of First Order work in any case). Different lighting conditions (among other things) are used to starkly differentiate these phases of the ritual.

Or, to go back to the three-part example I gave above about pace: Lighting conditions are used (in this case with laser-precision - probably our best piece of work with all of these things) so that, after certain priming, one is first taken down into the low levels of subconsciousness (even touching on the organic level), then (collaborating light with voice tone, the language of specific speeches, timing, etc.) channels for those stores of subconscious content are created, drawing it up into the light of waking consciousness; after which, phase 3 of the process dramatizes (and wraps or buffers) the consequences of that accessibility and wedding.

Does that help?

Does anyone know of any published and public material on these sorts of techniques?

Surprisingly, I can't begin to tell you where to look. This is knowledge I've accumulated over the years from psych training, independent reading, having access to people working in the related fields of science, and always bringing it back to magick and seeing what really happens when basics of brain science are brought to bear.

Please let me know if this question is inappropriate and I will remove the post.

Thanks for the offer. Questions are all OK - sometimes we won't be able to answer.

PS - I love David's answer because he spoke of his own experience and the consequences. I'm one of the few people who actually would know where the line is on talking about the ritual content itself. I hope my long answer doesn't terminate other people jumping in on this with their own contributions, especially considering their own experiences.

And now... speaking of rituals that use these tricks... back to putting late-stage touches on the Aspirants to Light III° ritual, my project of the month. "The Light is thine; may its rays consume thee..."
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Re: Use of different triggers in TOT initiation rituals

Postby DavidH » Fri May 12, 2006 1:13 pm

Jim Eshelman wrote:Sasha, I'm delighted you're enjoying the talk, and I appreciate the plug for the CD. :)


Jim, I ordered mine also. I hope more lectures by you will become available on cd/mp3. It's great to be able to listen to you on iPod while exercising at the gym, walking, or driving. I was lucky enough to listen to you speak every Wednesday for several years and I even taped most of the lectures. Unfortunately, the poor recorder combined with the age of the tapes make most of them useless today :cry:

I hope you are able to archive your lectures often now on digital format.
In LVX,
David

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93 93/93
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Postby jmiller » Fri May 12, 2006 1:16 pm

DavidH wrote:Personally I found that the TOT initiation did it to a MUCH more effective degree, a greater extreme, better timed, and left a lasting effect on me till this very day while others were forgotten after a few hours.


Believe me, I'm dying to get a look at those rituals. Maybe someday.


Jim Eshelman wrote:Sasha, I'm delighted you're enjoying the talk, and I appreciate the plug for the CD. :)


To further plug it... I just finished the second half. It came at the exact right time for me. I especially recommend it for anyone working with Yesodic type work or grades, stuff dealing with one's subconscious. Then again, maybe someone working on other sorts of work will find that reflected in the lecture. Hell, I guess I recommend it for everyone.

Jim Eshelman wrote:Without crossing an inappropriate line, let me say that most of the things you specifically mentioned - removal of hoods, display of symbols, startling candidates with swords - aren't the sort of thing I was talking about. (Notice I didn't say whether or not they were still in the ritual :twisted: )


Duly noted.

Jim Eshelman wrote:I know that's still vague, but I think I'm answering your questions about the sort of thing that is done.

...

Does that help?


Definitely. Thanks very much. This will help me with my analysis of other rituals.


Extending the discussion to personal magical work...

I now wonder about reorganizing my ritual schedule. Simply for purposes of convenience and just getting it done, I do much of my ritual work (MP, banishing, invocation) in the morning, doing just a banishing and meditation at night. However, this results in doing most of my work in a somewhat lit room, even though I have the blinds down. I suppose I should, at least, cover the windows so that no light comes in. But I wonder if doing it at actual night, rather than just simulating it would create better results. Then again, doing ritual at all gets better results than not doing it at all. But doing ritual work can also wind me up quite a bit, which could create problems for my sleep if I do it too late.

Along with my question in the first post, what do the rest of you do regarding daily ritual timing and lighting in your work space?
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Re: Use of different triggers in TOT initiation rituals

Postby Jim Eshelman » Fri May 12, 2006 1:34 pm

DavidH wrote:Jim, I ordered mine also. I hope more lectures by you will become available on cd/mp3. It's great to be able to listen to you on iPod while exercising at the gym, walking, or driving. I was lucky enough to listen to you speak every Wednesday for several years and I even taped most of the lectures. Unfortunately, the poor recorder combined with the age of the tapes make most of them useless today :cry:

I hope you are able to archive your lectures often now on digital format.

I am told that Bastkity (who recorded those classes for years) and Herr Sorath have a middle-to-back-burner project to convert her many hundreds of cassette tapes to digital format.

Additionally, Order members can get copies of the annual seminars. Last year's was nicely done in digital form. I think the production crew is bringing it to this year's seminar. I don't have particulars, but the general rule of thumb is that, if someone didn't attend the seminar, then the digital form is a little more than the cost of the seminar; and if they attended, then it is a little more than the cost of manufacturin the copy.
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Yours in L.V.X.,
Jim Eshelman
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Postby bethata418 » Sat May 13, 2006 5:21 pm

93

where can i find these copies of JAE lectures?? i love your lecture here in NYC, and wanted to head out to CA for your last lecture, but it sounded like the same subject, so though i am sure it was wonderful, i decided it was to much money for the same subject metter.

but that would be wonderful to be able to get your lectures on cd or even download!!!

93s

gunner
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Postby Jim Eshelman » Sun May 14, 2006 12:46 am

Gunner,

Yeah, it was the same basic talk, though it developed differently for the particular audience. In any case, here's the thread discussing the CD availability: http://heruraha.net/viewtopic.php?t=356
Love is the law, love under will.
Yours in L.V.X.,
Jim Eshelman
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