Say it with me: crap practice equals crap results.

So with that in mind, we strive at the outset to make sure that you take all your newly pent up energy and do something useful with it, in hopes of you not ending up some sad, crazy, burned out fucker who thought he/she was too hardcore or sophisticated to follow the rules, talking shit about all your ‘attainments’ to a bunch of neophytes who might eventually know better but probably won’t.

…inner and outer hygiene, contentment, building up heat, hitting the books, and surrendering to real power.

cleanse your jaded pallete and hook yourself up with some basic training here.

Direct download: furious_engines.mp3

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15 thoughts on “Systematic for the People 2: Furious Engines

  1. Ok, it’s much easier to start doing yama if you know that you will be able to sink all this energy into something. Did start and stop to get the hang of it a bit more. (And to be totally honest, I’m taking the plunge at my own rhythm).

    Tobacco addiction is a godsend, after all. Just wait a few hours without smoking, and there comes all that lovely energy that you can channel straight into a practice.

    Thanks. Just those two lessons are an awesome bit of mind judo and a great source of pleasure and improvement.

    What is funny is that I saw this morning some of my muslim friends getting hyperactive because of ramadan, and there I was, telling them to pray to use up their energy 🙂

  2. So about studying books following the 4th niyama finger, what books have you read and would recommend to read more about buddhism/the eight limbs of yoga or other things you see related to that particular area of Eastern thought. I remember way back in one of the really really old posts you mentioned the pali cannon and I think I asked about it then, but just throwing it out there again.

  3. I think this will be really poorly articulated so if anyone can help out, please do. Could you elaborate a bit on self study as per the fourth part of niyama? I’ve tried to keep records of my progress in different things like meditation/writing/or just a day to day journal but it seems really hard to see how to study myself. I know this is not the case, but it seems like Wittengenstein’s eye that cannot see itself problem. I recognize that when I write something about my experiences that it’s pretty much as subjective as one can get, but what is a (some) technique(s) for stepping back and actually looking at yourself from an outsider’s perspective? The other part is surrending to the infinite. What I’m thinking now is that one would either have to follow some religions prescribed rules for how to interact with God/Universe/etc. or be able to intuit it themselves? What other alternatives are there? When I think about this stuff I tend to fall into the chaos magic paradigm which is where I started, but I try to lean away from that now because I think for me it really stretches my energy too much to try and come up with my own way of doing everything.

  4. Hu, from the man said, any classic sacred book is ok, so, you should probably have a Bible handy somewhere? 🙂

    Else, a quick look up gave:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pali_Canon
    http://buddhism.about.com/library/blpalicanon.htm

    Don’t know about the quality of the translation of this one, should start you up.

    If you haven’t checked it out already, this one is a total gem, linked to by zac somewhere, called ‘Mastering the core teachings of the Buddha’:

    http://www.buddhistische-gesellschaft-berlin.de/downloads/masteringbuddha.pdf#search=%22mastering%20the%20cores%20teaching%20buddha%22

    (Daniel Ingram’s site seems to be down at the moment).

  5. well, at this stage, the depth of self study or study of sacred texts or whatnot is not that urgent. the main thing is to establish the structure in such a way that it will have a long and sustainable life.

    there’s no point burning out on self study or book work. niyama is meant to provide a foundation for later steps and to be an enjoyable thing in and of itself. form the positive feed back loop first, and then when you’re feeling strong, push it into sensitive or confusing areas.

    and besides what’s been mentioned, the bhagavad gita is of course the classic mystical yoga text, and fairly brief as well.

  6. Haha, no Bible here. I live in Japan, and when I first came I was really surprised to see a Bible and some Buddhist text in the hotel. As far as books go, I was curious because it seems more difficult to find out which ones to read when I try and search on google or wikipedia than just asking someone who knows. (Going back to one of the mosaic effect podcasts about connecting with people who know something you want to know 😉 )

  7. Sorry for the plug:

    As you may already know, Robert Anton Wilson is utterly broke, ill from post polio syndrome, and dying. Those who may feel that he was an influence in their life* and want to help out can visit http://www.rawilson.com , there’s a paypal button and address on the front page.

    (*me, I wouldn’t be the same today. The Illuminatus! trilogy did sneak up behind me and hit me HARD on the head in a totally unexpected way. Forever changed me. I still resent him for doing that to me, even after all those years. I’m definitively sending money, although I’m currently quite broke).

    Feel free to delete that, zac, if you think it is inappropriate.

  8. I would guess, from my own experience, that self-study has less to do with rigorous record-keeping and more to do with cultivating an “objective” alter-ego, i.e. a personality within that can ask hard questions of your other personalities, drilling down to core motivations and habits. There’s probably more to it than that, but I’m not that advanced.

    Zac, thanks for putting this all into perspective. I’m “self-taught” (i.e. not formally educated) in a lot of this stuff, but much of what you’re presenting in your latest series rings true and is very consistent with my experience and hypotheses. I really appreciate your efforts to systematize and repackage this wisdom in a way that is accessible to the 21st century mind. I always look forward to your podcasts!

  9. Ditto what slomo said in his second paragraph. These podcasts are shining light on some rather sizable boundaries & limitations I’ve built up inside and blowing them to smitherines… well, they’re actually setting up the charges (or so it seems) and begging me to hit the demolition switch.

    I’m learning that no inner-realm is ever thoroughly or absolutely discovered and explored. The basic “floors” of the self I thought I had all figured out are turning up to be full of secret passages I never could have concieved of previously.

    It is funny how a lot of the stuff I realize I must do is going to strain certain relationships I have, with regard to shared lifestyles. Here’s to it.

  10. Skip said: “these podcasts are shining light on some rather sizable boundaries & limitations I’ve built up inside and blowing them to smitherines… well, they’re actually setting up the charges (or so it seems) and begging me to hit the demolition switch.”

    You expressed exactly how I feel about this. Just waiting a bit more to be able to be in the best outer conditions and enjoy that flip switch to the max. What a lovely day this will be. Free at last.

  11. i know that feeling very well, and it’s a big part of what i try to communicate with my work here.

    that said, i’d be remiss if i didn’t warn you ahead of time that that feeling is often premature and frequently misleading.

    in buddhism they sometimes call it one of the corruptions of insight to glimpse truth and then to become emotionally eraptured with it’s possiblities to oneself. it can turn into just another toy for the ego to play with. the work is complex enough without bringing a lot of emotion to the table. a quiet sense of satisfaction and pleasure in the practice itself is usually sufficient.

    but at the end of the day it’s still better than feeling like shit, which is what most people do most of the time, so have fun and be carefull.

    ..and the outer conditions will never be ideal. nor should they be. do what you can whenever you can. a fixation on having things just so will end up costing you years of work.

  12. i really like the snowball/niyama metaphor, though this is not always the case for me. there is a danger here i think for alot of people regarding the balance between self-regulating observances and compulsory behavior. all of these conditioning practices that are so essential for our transcendence, though they can all be colored by conviction or intention. when you discuss the destructive potential of the 5 niyamas, you mention how some corrupt individuals have carried out the process in some form or another. do you attribute this to the reaction of the unconscious to the desire for power and the universal logic of the system, or perhaps some karmic hold-over of intentionality. we can find many accounts of “good” yogis and “bad” yogis in various folk legends, hagiographies, etc. i sometimes think of all of this as what feurstein calls “the technology of ecstacy” or what guenther translates as “systemic organismic mentation” as being a kind of technology of the gods. we hear accounts of deities suspended in various samadhis, generating vast accumulations of merit that elevate them to sustaining cosmic principalities, sustainers of laws of physics, and so forth. we also hear accounts of asuras doing headstands for several trichiliocosms all so that they get the magic power to turn mountains into butter and stir up some fuss with the devas. when humans access these potentials, unconscious or fully conscious, it can unpack godlike power, vision, knowledge. or it can do the opposite, as you had mentioned. jung also described an inherent spiritual instinct or a “religious function,” which may be a way to describe the peculiar emergence of these techniques or some simulation thereof in the behavior of some who may have no exposure to the classical techniques. i do take issue again with the relativization of the terms, not that i think we must all use a neti pot thrice daily to gain siddhi, but i do think that these terms as outlined by patanjali are pretty specific within karma theory. for instance, the interpretation of brahmacharya as simply refraining from indiscriminate sexual activity falls far from yogic alchemy, and kundalini arousal which requires retention for accumulation of ojas and subtle body purification (for which hatha yoga is preparatory).
    anyway, i like where this is going. look forward to your next post.

  13. well, ultimately it’s a judgement call on my part.
    while do i think that for some of the more specific and/or exotic effects it’s advisable to follow the cookbook to the letter, i try to hit some kind of middle space that encompasses these practices in all their multicultural aspects.
    when someone gets far enough into it to contemplate bringing the kundalini to fruition, or perfecting a siddha, or various alchemical refinements, then they’ll take the time and effort to go all the way with it.
    …hard enough to be bracing, but not so demanding it seems unattainable to the western mind. this is the internet after all and you need to take that into account.
    I’ve handled the issue of corruption at length in the past and i’m sure if you go far enough into the back catalouge ( as you seem wont to do anyway) you’ll find something that adresses your question in various different forms.

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