Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Setting the Alarm

At night, as you lay down on your bed, ready to rest, there is a very smooth transition that occurs between your "waking" consciousness and the land of dreams. One moment you are thinking of the day, of things that happened and should have happened and could have happened and suddenly… you are not there anymore. The world is strange, things follow other each in non-logical patterns and strange visual associations. Every once in a while, your regular consciousness may pop back up, as you rearrange yourself on the bed, as you hold your partner, as you scratch your arm… then back down you go into the raw world of the subconscious.
In the morning, you may be able to wake up naturally, with the light of the sun in your eyes and the sound of roosters at dawn. But you may also encounter trouble. Your "sleeping self" might want to continue its slumber, the bed just feels too good, and your regular "I" might have trouble taking control enough to get you up. In that case, an alarm clock is very useful. A loud ring at a certain time will be sure to snap you back to your own self. It will not only remind you of who you are, where you are and what time it is. It will also remind you of the "you" that set the alarm and why it did it.
Practically every word and sentence in the previous paragraph applies to our work with awakening the machine. You may find yourself in spaces of light awakening, where you are able to study the ideas, work with yourself or with a group, perform magickal actions, create… but when you least expect it, precisely when you are not looking (inwards), your machine will fall right back into sleep.
And once it falls, it may take weeks, months or even years before you will manage to wake it up again. The same resistance will be there. Sleep is comfortable. It feels good for the machine to be asleep. It can indulge in all kinds of recurring habits. It can allow itself the burning pleasure of physical, emotional and intellectual catharsis. It can drift away the hours without a care. Or it can shake itself into raging frenzies about any little concern. It can forget its deep responsibility and wallow in its simulacrum of Life.
The Work can be painful, very uncomfortable, even hurtful to the machine. So it has no reason at all to want it. It may have imagined that doing the Work would make it more desirable, more powerful, more comfortable, but once the real Work begins, it will soon realize that there is a lot of hardship involved and it will seek its former sleeping state as quickly as possible and for as long as possible. At that point, the machine will create strategies to pull you away from any kind of Work, some of them based on ingrained habits and some of them stratagems that will mask themselves as a kind of false work. All of this will make it harder and harder to pull the machine out of its sleeping state.
One strategy that we can implement to counteract the multiple strategies of the machine is to set alarm clocks. You can set yourself up for something to happen in the future, an event or a specific action. This event will not only push the machine towards wakefulness but, even more importantly, it will remind you ("you" as Being) of why you wanted to wake up in the first place. Once reminded, you will have a lot more energy and momentum to accomplish the process of pulling the machine out of its slumber.
Approach the work with the machine as you would approach teaching a little child about music or art. You have to be consistent and disciplined, but you can’t be too harsh or demanding or you might actually kill the machine’s spirit. You have to find a way to be gently disciplined. Give little rewards when the machine works with you, little harmless things that will keep it happy but not hurt its ability to function. Give it a little time to breathe. But set a clear reminder so that you can snap back to attention when needed.
One alarm clock is not enough. After a while, the machine will figure out what you are doing and devise a way to subvert it. Each time you find yourself in a slightly awakened space, set new alarm clocks for yourself. Be very creative. Don’t make them too challenging, but make sure you put something in them that will act as a clear reminder. Let them be a call from the Other that is the real You to the Me that is just Imagination. Like little grains of rice, if you leave them behind you in the forest, they will lead you back home.

Experiment: Eleven Eleven

This is an experiment to be carried out for the duration of one week.Each day at either 11:11 a.m. or 11:11 p.m. remember to look at the palm of your dominant hand. Set an alarm that will go off at this time to remind you.Gaze at your palm with the full force of your attention for at least one whole minute. Observe every minute detail; the lines and creases, the size, the shape, and color of it.As you look upon it, feel as if it is an entity all of its own, that it has its own life. Imagine that your hand has come alive and it is observing you. It has been waiting for you to notice it. Caress your hand with your gaze employing the same attention you would bestow upon the face of your immortal beloved.At 11:12 return to whatever activities engaged you prior to this one.Attempt to remember to do this each day for seven days. Keep track of any days upon which you forget to conduct the experiment

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