1. Standard memberBosse de Nage
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    11 Aug '05 15:43
    A number of motivational speakers today espouse the power of the mind--"your attitudes determine your reality". I'm sincerely interested in hearing about the experiences (good, bad or indifferent) of people who've attended such courses.

    (I'm currently half-way through one such course on the John Kehoe label. )
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    12 Aug '05 21:52
    Originally posted by Bosse de Nage
    A number of motivational speakers today espouse the power of the mind--"your attitudes determine your reality". I'm sincerely interested in hearing about the experiences (good, bad or indifferent) of people who've attended such courses.

    (I'm currently half-way through one such course on the John Kehoe label. )
    I spent many years training in this stuff, back mostly in the 1980s, when it was probably more popular than it is now. The whole idea of "thought creating reality" is good, I think, especially for those needing to be more accountable for their life, as well as for seeing how the mind, via its perceptions and projections, shapes our view of reality. However I found that some of its core premises seem to break down at deeper levels of experience. For example, when you start getting into the whole "non-duality" teachings that lie at the core of so many of humanity's wisdom traditions, most of the great sages and spiritual masters point to the unreality of the ego-self and its inability to truly create anything.

    So I think that attitudinal work is a good foundation, but it struggles to explain the whole picture -- one obvious example being, why do "good people" with seemingly healthy attitudes sometimes suffer horribly, and why do "bad people", with apparently negative attitudes, sometimes appear to "get away with murder"?

    The perennial wisdom traditions try to explain this in terms of some greater Cosmic design, "God's plan", "karma/cause and effect", etc., but these all deal with models that are clearly out of reach of the individual ego and its issues of attitude and "how to create one's reality". So there's definitely room to bridge these two domains, that of the individual ego that appears to choose things in life and to have attitudes, and that of the transpersonal realm where there seems to be a much greater power or destiny that overrides our private microcosmic view of things.
  3. Standard membermokko
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    13 Aug '05 21:23
    Originally posted by Bosse de Nage
    A number of motivational speakers today espouse the power of the mind--"your attitudes determine your reality". I'm sincerely interested in hearing about the experiences (good, bad or indifferent) of people who've attended such courses.

    (I'm currently half-way through one such course on the John Kehoe label. )
    Your thoughts do determine your reality. I've read several book on the subject and even though I'm FAR from being any sort of expert, I have put certain applications into practice and have seen the often dramatic results that ocurred by simply thinking it and believing it to be true. It's a very simple concept and is fairly easy to gain controll over.

    Once you experience the power of your thoughts the question then becomes are your thoughts best used to serve your own purpose or to serve a greater purpose. By removing all doubt from my mind and visually picturing my success as a reality instead of an unobtainable dream I completed 2 years of upgrading with exceptional marks. No small feat for someone with 2 kids, a job and no family support.

    I never doubted for a moment and used repititive thought patterns (something as simple as I'll be successfull in all I do) and visualizing the end result (receiving my diploma). Even with so many obstacles in my path it became one of the easiest paths to follow.

    Don't know if this is you were looking for but this is just one of my many experiences with your life being what you believe it to be.
  4. Standard memberBosse de Nage
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    15 Aug '05 08:56
    Originally posted by Metamorphosis
    So there's definitely room to bridge these two domains, that of the individual ego that appears to choose things in life and to have attitudes, and that of the transpersonal realm where there seems to be a much greater power or destiny that overrides our private microcosmic view of things.
    Thanks for posting. My attitude towards these things is purely pragmatic--my sole concern currently is whether the techniques work or not and to determine their limits. Do you think that the value of "mind power" is purely motivational?
  5. Standard memberBosse de Nage
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    15 Aug '05 09:00
    Originally posted by mokko

    Don't know if this is you were looking for but this is just one of my many experiences with your life being what you believe it to be.
    Thanks mokko. Visualisation is certainly key to this way of dealing with things. I'm glad to hear it worked for you--I'm a terrible skeptic, so stories from outside the circle are very valuable.

    Your distinction between serving your own goals & finding a higher (or broader?) purpose is important, I think, although I'm certain that any altruistic pursuits I might undertake would benefit from me getting my own house in order first.
  6. Standard membermokko
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    15 Aug '05 09:40
    Originally posted by Bosse de Nage
    Thanks mokko. Visualisation is certainly key to this way of dealing with things. I'm glad to hear it worked for you--I'm a terrible skeptic, so stories from outside the circle are very valuable.

    Your distinction between serving your own goals & finding a higher (or broader?) purpose is important, I think, although I'm certain that any altruistic pursuits I might undertake would benefit from me getting my own house in order first.
    Well I personally see nothing wrong with using these techniques for personal goals. They work. As for being skeptical, there's nobody more skeptical than myself. I question everything but I also give something my all before I discount it. With the powers of thought I was very leary as to how this would change any sort of outcome in my life but I put my all into it and began to see the results. You have to believe it to be true without question. Difficult at firt but gets easier with practice. Like all things in life nothing comes easy.
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    16 Aug '05 07:23
    Originally posted by Bosse de Nage
    Thanks for posting. My attitude towards these things is purely pragmatic--my sole concern currently is whether the techniques work or not and to determine their limits. Do you think that the value of "mind power" is purely motivational?
    I think that "mind power" represents a particular stage in inner development. I see it as far, far beyond the traditional approaches of faith and blind allegiance to some overlord deity, but I see it as stopping short of embracing a total understanding of reality.

    In the integral view of spirituality, there are what could be said to be three distinct realms or levels...

    1 -- body
    2 -- mind (thought)
    3 -- consciousness (spirit)

    These also roughly correspond to

    1 -- pre-rational
    2 -- rational
    3 -- trans-rational

    or

    1 -- pre-ego
    2 -- ego
    3 -- post-ego

    You find these three stage represented or allegorized in most spiritual traditions. For example in Christianity, there is Eden, Adam and Eve in the pre-ego state (prior to rebellion), then they are in the ego state (the rebellion and expulsion) and then finally there is the redemption via Christ that represents the third level, salvation. In Buddhism, they refer to this as "vidya" (ignorance, not knowing, pre-ego), then "atta" (self, ego, conscious suffering), and finally "anatta" (no-self, transcendence, enlightenment).

    The problem with current Western civilization is a stagnation at the second level -- mind, ego, rebelliousness, obsession with individuality, etc. There is plenty of ignorance about the third level. Worse, there is something that Wilber, for example, calls the "pre-trans" fallacy, where the first level, the pre-ego stage, is confused with the third level, the enlightenment stage (this happens in many New Age teachings, though not all. This is where "God" is seen as some pantheistic entity, some amorphous soup to simply be returned to, losing all sense of individuality in doing so).

    When a society stagnates at the second level, the mind level, it's related to many factors such as the devotion to scientific materialism, or religious fundamentalism, neither of which promotes a critical approach to the spiritual realm, relying instead on the "voice of authority", either in the form of "scientific experts" who write the college texts and publish the papers, or religious authorities like priestly intermediaries and their texts which are not to be questioned. This is all well and good (or not), but in both cases there is no suggestion that anything lies beyond the level of mind that the individual can access on their own. They either have to conform to the dictates and established views of the "authorities", or break out of the box on their own.

    The "box" is really the second level of human experience -- the mind, the ego, individuality. It's a kind of disharmonic level, out of synch with Nature, which is why humanity has managed to have wrought so much damage to planet Earth and its species. Part of the problem with remaining stuck at this level is ignorance of how thought works, unawareness of its power to shape our reality. Esoteric groups have long understood this, but the teachings have never really penetrated the mainstream until recently, and only barely at that. And small wonder, as a society of people who have fully harnessed their mind power are much less dependent on "authorities" to tell them how to live and what to believe in. So the control operatives of society throughout history have had good reason to keep these teachings secret, or somewhat repressed.

    But I still don't see mind-power teachings are breaching the third level, because they still work with the idea that the individual ego is controlling the show. They can be used for very positive changes in one's life, to move into the realm of spirit, consciousness, but this seems to require close guidance so that the ego doesn't use the mind power technology to simply reinforce its separate identity. In Buddhist teachings, they refer to this as the realm of the "Titans", god-like beings who have harnessed the power of their minds but are still somewhat dangerous because they operate out of ego, not attunement to universal Spirit.

    Ceremonial magic is based on the work of joining the mind-power to a full attunement to universal spirit, sometimes referred to as the "Holy Guardian Angel". Taoist yoga also addresses this, via the Taoist adepts deepening surrender to the Tao itself. Other systems like Zen simply bypass the whole mind-power level, referring to as "makyo", subtle distractions from full enlightenment.
  8. Standard memberBosse de Nage
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    16 Aug '05 09:161 edit
    Originally posted by Metamorphosis
    But I still don't see mind-power teachings are breaching the third level, because they still work with the idea that the individual ego is controlling the show.

    The course I'm attending bears this statement out. People are going around saying things like "I am the CEO of my mind". There's a big emphasis on wealth accrual. Not that I wouldn't mind having some of that. Of course there are also the Advanced Mind Power courses later on...

    Ceremonial magic is based on the work of joining the mind-power to a full attunement to universal spirit, sometimes referred to as the "Holy Guardian Angel". Taoist yoga also addresses this, via the Taoist adepts deepening surrender to the Tao itself. Other systems like Zen simply bypass the whole mind-power level, referring to as "makyo", subtle distractions from full enlightenment.

    The key concepts of Mind Power seem to be simplified versions of practical techniques used in chaos magick (among others). Having been involved in mind power training, would you say that they fail to address the spiritual dimension completely?

    I appreciated your comment about misconceptions regarding ego transcendence. Such misconceptions are frequently used to denigrate spiritual work and reflect, I think, profound misunderstanding based on lack of experience. Not that I claim to have any profound understanding myself, but believe the experience of samadhi --gnosis--to be something other than mere ego-annihilation.

    What advice would you give someone who had just completed a mind power course?
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    16 Aug '05 14:50
    does it help with your chess??
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    16 Aug '05 18:441 edit
    BDN...

    The course I'm attending bears this statement out. People are going around saying things like "I am the CEO of my mind". There's a big emphasis on wealth accrual. Not that I wouldn't mind having some of that. Of course there are also the Advanced Mind Power courses later on...

    Incidentally, a former neighbour of mine is an in-law of John Kehoe; she gave me a copy of his book "The Practice Of Happiness" a couple of years ago.

    The "manifesting wealth" thing became popular decades ago, and although it's been met with a lot of cynicism I think these things have a place in the bigger picture, because for centuries spiritual teachings have been the providence of the monasteries and ashrams and forest shamans, kept separate from mainstream society, except via religious doctrine. We're in a new paradigm now, and so I can see some benefit in putting forth the idea that the spiritual can be found in the material, that money is not evil, that abundance is a spiritual value, that people deserve to enjoy life and not struggle, etc.

    The key concepts of Mind Power seem to be simplified versions of practical techniques used in chaos magick (among others). Having been involved in mind power training, would you say that they fail to address the spiritual dimension completely?

    I think they border on it, but are still mostly at the "second level", that is, where one is identified with one's ego and one's thoughts (those are mythoughts!). So again, this can be good for beginning to get out of the box of limited thinking that most people are straightjacketed with, but does not seem to take one the whole way, because it's too easy for the ego to appropriate manifestation techniques, hijack them for personal agendas. That doesn't have to be bad, and may even be really good, but it's neither here nor there when it comes to the enlightenment teachings of the perennial wisdom traditions.

    You're right in seeing the link between "mind power" and magick, because this is where it's really originating from, the old mystery schools like Golden Dawn, Rosicrucianism, etc. These paths were based on the idea of utilizing the visualization capacity of the mind to bring about effects in one's life; Tibetan Buddhism works deeply with this approach as well, in the Vajrayana (Tantric) schools. But the core idea behind visualization is deeply spiritual -- the idea is to align oneself with one's highest potential by visualizing a deity, or a god-form that represents a particular kind of wisdom one may want to awaken within oneself. The visualization practice is done with a view to surrendering to that wisdom, not with a view to controlling reality. And it's this point that is usually not addressed in the mind-power teachings.

    However where I think mind-power teachings are valuable is that they help people move out of a limited self-image, to begin to realize that they do in fact possess personal power, and that they are not merely victims of forces surrounding them in life. And that's something that is very appropriate for the time we live in, which is why mind-power teachings have probably become relatively well known in recent decades.

    So it all depends on what one wants. If one wants to increase self-esteem, personal power, accrue things, etc., then mind-power techniques definitely help. If however one wants the enlightenment experience, and wants it in a relatively sustained, stable fashion in one's life, then one needs to use the mind-power stuff to go beyond manifesting objects and instead use it to align with ultimate reality, God, Tao, or whatever name one gives to the non-dual principle of existence. And this is a steeper path, because the ego fights tooth and nail to preserve its existence.

    I appreciated your comment about misconceptions regarding ego transcendence. Such misconceptions are frequently used to denigrate spiritual work and reflect, I think, profound misunderstanding based on lack of experience. Not that I claim to have any profound understanding myself, but believe the experience of samadhi --gnosis--to be something other than mere ego-annihilation.

    Yes, the ego may fight for its existence, but that doesn't make it bad, or even necessarily problematic. It's just doing its job. And enlightenment is not about total loss of individuality. That's a misconception. Individuality is retained along with a direct, tacit awareness of connectedness to and with all things. It just becomes really hard to do dumb stuff, or destroy things, etc., because there is an ongoing awareness of how separation is just a conceptual construction, an idea, lacking substance. It's also very hard to feel sorry for oneself, or get bummed, etc., because it's more clearly seen how these are simply mind states, not reflecting the reality that we are already in the cosmic ocean of life, not separate from the same energy that is producing unlimited life and unlimited creativity all the time.

    What advice would you give someone who had just completed a mind power course?

    Make lots of money while walking some sort of spiritual path, then retire to an ashram in India or a Zen monastery in Japan for a few years to dedicate yourself to enlightenment. Then return to the West, write, enjoy life, and play chess.

    LOL, well that was my path anyway...but there are always other ways... 🙂
  11. Standard memberBosse de Nage
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    16 Aug '05 18:48
    Your post has put me in a good mood. I shall not open that bottle of wine I was saving to annihilate my ego tonight. Thank you.
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    16 Aug '05 22:221 edit
    Originally posted by Bosse de Nage
    Your post has put me in a good mood. I shall not open that bottle of wine I was saving to annihilate my ego tonight. Thank you.
    I'll hoist a cold one to that...

    Regarding alcohol and the spiritual path...I once stayed at an ashram in India that was reputedly the only ashram in India that had a fully stocked bar. (This was a Tantric ashram). The bar was nicknamed the "wunderbar" because half of its inhabitants at any given time were Germans...

    So after my daily meditation practices I used to retire to this bar to drink Indian port wine and smoke beedies (Indian cigarettes that smell suspiciously like hashish). I would sit in my corner with my turbaned Sikh friend who would expound on hair splitting spiritual principles while we sat in a cloud of smoke and inbibed the mead-like drink. Unfortunately Indian port wine is usually wretchedly bad so that coupled with dealing with the local rich cuisine and pungent beedie tobacco resulted in some unexpected bodily reactions, especially after a day of meditations... 😕

    Maybe I should have used Kehoe mind-power techniques to transmute the Indian wine to French, lol.
  13. Standard memberBosse de Nage
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    17 Aug '05 08:35
    Originally posted by Metamorphosis
    Maybe I should have used Kehoe mind-power techniques to transmute the Indian wine to French, lol.
    Ha ha. I must say everytime I smoke a beedie I just have to go.

    Speaking of those techniques, what is the key to successful practice?
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    17 Aug '05 22:011 edit
    Originally posted by Bosse de Nage
    Ha ha. I must say everytime I smoke a beedie I just have to go.

    Speaking of those techniques, what is the key to successful practice?
    By practice, do you mean the practice of keeping Indian port wine down? Now that's a herculean feat... 🙂

    Concerning beedies, Nisargadatta Maharaj, one of India's greatest Advaita sages of last century, made his living selling beedies on the street. He was known as the "beedie Baba"....pretty wild old guy, but full of incredible wisdom.

    Re "practice" -- as with any actual spiritual method, whether "mind-power" or meditation or cultivating a relationship with spiritual energies via devotion, the key is always the same, that being endurance. One has to stick with it. This is because the ego component of the mind generally speaking does not like change, or anything new or unexpected. It prefers routine, and the known. In fact, the ego usually even prefers the known hell to the unknown. Spiritual techniques represent a movement into the unknown, a breaking of old patterns, and so at first the ego tends to resist using these methods.

    Basically, there are three main paths to the divine, those being...

    1 -- Devotion
    2 -- Knowledge/Insight
    3 -- Action

    In India, they refer to these as bhakti yoga, jnana yoga, and karma yoga. Christianity and Islam, for example, are almost entirely devotional paths. One submits to Christ or Allah as a spiritual presence and so (in theory) becomes purified that way (though this path is very susceptible to the limitations of dogma). Most Buddhist paths are paths of knowledge/insight, via study and meditation. But most of the paths of Hermetica, like ceremonial magick or mind-power methods (more the older forms) were paths of action, based on harnessing energies and performing specific acts like mantras or affirmations or visualizations or sympathetic magick in order to bring about changes in one's consciousness, and by extension in one's external reality.

    Dion Fortune had a good definition of magick -- "the science and art of changing consciousness in conformity with Will". This was a modification of Aleister Crowley's original statement "the science and art of causing change in conformity with Will." The reason "Will" is capitalized is that it's based on the idea of the higher will, or will of the Higher Self. This is a really important point because the path of manifesting changes in our life often goes like this...

    1 -- get an idea of what you want

    2 -- learn methods of manifestation

    3 -- employ these methods, but only get a partial result, or a temporary one

    4 -- meet with resistance in going further

    5 -- give up

    This is not only common, it's practically the norm as I've seen it to be, spanning nearly 30 years of involvement with this stuff. The reason these methods usually ultimately fail to bring about lasting changes or permanent ones, is because of a resistance to releasing one's personal will, into the Will of the Higher Self, or simply one's deeper potentials, is another way of putting it. The process often gets sabotaged because the ego does not want to relinquish its hold on things. It will talk the talk and even walk the walk for a while, but at certain point it does what it can to lull the seeker back to sleep again by seducing him/her back to the "fold" of mediocrity.

    So the key piece to effect deeper movement from ego-will to higher Will is always endurance, or commitment, with whatever methods one is using. And these often naturally evolve into other methods, and ultimately beyond all methods altogether, but this is rare. Most people serious about this stuff need commitment and discipline in their practices.
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    18 Aug '05 02:48
    Originally posted by stoker
    does it help with your chess??
    For the record, "mind-power" training can indeed help you improve your chess, but not in the way you might think. That is, if you pursue it for a while, it will probably help you improve as a player and increase your rating. But if you keep pursuing the manifestation methods eventually your chess ability will "plateau" because the mind--training will become less and less oriented toward winning, and more and more oriented toward enjoying the game and being less attached to the outcome. That is, these methods will ultimately make you more of a "good loser" than a high rated player only. "Not whether you win or lose, but how you play the game" may be a tired cliche but it carries great truth in the context of these teachings. All but a handful of chess players (the super GMs) will be losing plenty of games, provided they are not insulting themselves from their fear of losing by only playing much weaker players, so it makes sense to learn how to lose with equinimity and humor and non-attachment to outcome, since most of us will indeed be losing at least semi-regularly...
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