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Ch13
 Ch13
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17/11/2010 8:35 pm  

93
I've been trying with great effort over two weeks to perform the difficult task of engaging the Three Beasts to work the Field. As you know when the art fails, it is recommended a "sharp cut" in the specific part that is mentioned.
Now, I would like to know what experiences had others on this job. For my part, I got a gold pin that I apply to –quite gently of course- when the Art fails. But it is not easy to continue the work and Choronzon always ends up winning the spot.
If possible, any advice from Thelemites brothers?
93 93/93

Ch13


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 Anonymous
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17/11/2010 9:24 pm  

It's all about training until conditioning is accomplished, imo. Repetition. I repeat, repetition. 🙂


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mika
 mika
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17/11/2010 10:00 pm  
"Ch13" wrote:
If possible, any advice from Thelemites brothers?

Did you forget that women also participate on this forum, or are you simply uninterested in what we have to say? For now, I'll just assume that your gender bias was an unfortunate accident and answer your question anyway.

1. Two weeks is nothing compared to the lifetime of conditioning that you're trying to change. Be patient and diligent. Don't beat yourself up over every little lapse, just take notice and continue with your work. You're not caught up in some everlasting battle between your Guardian Angel and Choronzon, where Mr C gets to cut a notch on his bedpost every time you fail to live up to your own expectations.

2. Try to avoid using words like "fails" or "failure" (or "win" or "lose" or any other kind of absolute). The work, your art, is a process, not a destination or prize. Perfection is imaginary; any ideal you are trying to conform to is a creation of your own mind, so if you must use an ideal to guide your direction, don't expect to ever arrive there. You will never achieve perfection, after 2 weeks, 2 years, 2 decades or 200 lifetimes, because perfection doesn't exist in the real world. Let it go. Accept where you're at right now, even while working on changing the things you don't like.


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 Anonymous
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17/11/2010 10:03 pm  

Jeepers do you ever let up?


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 Anonymous
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17/11/2010 10:24 pm  

Well, I guess if I thought this kind of training were good for much, which I don't, I would suggest ptting a nice thick rubber band around your wrist that you can snap after every discretion, and you can tally them up on paper rather than your arm.
Honestly I think this kind of "training" stems from an outmoded approach. A dog that gets kicked everytime it pees on the floor is likely to pee on the floor more. And really, unless I were in to self mutilation (which would seem to take the punishment aspect right out of things), I wouldn't recommend anybody treat their body that way.

My suggestion would be to look into more positive forms of reinforcement, as opposed to the negative reinforcers suggested by Crowley. Consider modern froms of behavioral therapy, and apply them to the process, such as A.B.A. therapy. As modern research and just plain common sense have shown, positive reinforcement will yield results much more quickly and efficiently than punishers will.

So stop cutting and poking yourself.


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Los
 Los
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17/11/2010 10:55 pm  
"AEternitas" wrote:
So stop cutting and poking yourself.

I don't know if I would recommend "positive reinforcement" because the goal of Jugorum isn't to change your behavior permanently -- it's (partially) to reveal to you exactly what you're up against: your mind and body have their own agendas and often work in ways that "you" don't want them to.

The point is to make yourself very aware of the ways that your mind and body "disobey" you so that you can first realize how frequent it is and then resolve to exercise better control over them. You make yourself aware by focusing on the lapses, either with pain or some other kind of reminder.

I think we all know that a rubber band smacking against your wrist or a book in which you can note all of your lapses works just as well as slashing up your arms. There's no need to become an emo cutter just because Crowley said so.


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 Anonymous
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17/11/2010 11:01 pm  

I absolutely agree with AEternitas and I was going to say something but I didn't want to be 'that guy' always disagreeing with the initial concept! I don't think this practice has all that much value. Sometimes brushing up on modern knowledge of psychologists, neurologists, anthropologists, neurophysiologists, etc. can be more magickally potent than some of Crowley's phenomenal documents! Scientific journals are good to peruse every once in a while to gain very fascinating insights into matters such as training yourself that could yield very powerful results for the occult student! Crowley was one of the first to do this, and now we're nearly a hundred years down the road. Modern science is magickally effective too!


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 Anonymous
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17/11/2010 11:18 pm  

ok, identify the problem behaviors and actions first, and then get rid of them with positive reinfocers, essentially praising your body or lower self or whatever for doing what you want it to do.

No matter how you word it, cutting, snapping etc, are negative reinforcers, punishers.


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Ch13
 Ch13
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18/11/2010 3:17 am  
"Camlion" wrote:
It's all about training until conditioning is accomplished, imo. Repetition. I repeat, repetition. 🙂

That's the CLUE

Thanks Camlion, very concise 😀


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Ch13
 Ch13
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18/11/2010 3:24 am  
"mika" wrote:
"Ch13" wrote:
If possible, any advice from Thelemites brothers?

Did you forget that women also participate on this forum, or are you simply uninterested in what we have to say? For now, I'll just assume that your gender bias was an unfortunate accident and answer your question anyway.

1. Two weeks is nothing compared to the lifetime of conditioning that you're trying to change. Be patient and diligent. Don't beat yourself up over every little lapse, just take notice and continue with your work. You're not caught up in some everlasting battle between your Guardian Angel and Choronzon, where Mr C gets to cut a notch on his bedpost every time you fail to live up to your own expectations.

2. Try to avoid using words like "fails" or "failure" (or "win" or "lose" or any other kind of absolute). The work, your art, is a process, not a destination or prize. Perfection is imaginary; any ideal you are trying to conform to is a creation of your own mind, so if you must use an ideal to guide your direction, don't expect to ever arrive there. You will never achieve perfection, after 2 weeks, 2 years, 2 decades or 200 lifetimes, because perfection doesn't exist in the real world. Let it go. Accept where you're at right now, even while working on changing the things you don't like.

Apologice for that Mica. In fact I wanted to mean: the members of the “brotherhood”.
It has been very beneficial to me that you ignored “the gender bias” and respond. I think that your words reminds me -in some ways- the distinction between “enormous effort” and “intention”. That in themselves are very different. It is very funny the image of HGA fighting against Mr. C! and for sure I will consider it when “effort” apears.
Definitely I incorporate the words related to "continue the process without predetermined destination". Thanks a lot!!!
😉


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Ch13
 Ch13
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18/11/2010 3:27 am  
"AEternitas" wrote:
Well, I guess if I thought this kind of training were good for much, which I don't, I would suggest ptting a nice thick rubber band around your wrist that you can snap after every discretion, and you can tally them up on paper rather than your arm.
Honestly I think this kind of "training" stems from an outmoded approach. A dog that gets kicked everytime it pees on the floor is likely to pee on the floor more. And really, unless I were in to self mutilation (which would seem to take the punishment aspect right out of things), I wouldn't recommend anybody treat their body that way.

My suggestion would be to look into more positive forms of reinforcement, as opposed to the negative reinforcers suggested by Crowley. Consider modern froms of behavioral therapy, and apply them to the process, such as A.B.A. therapy. As modern research and just plain common sense have shown, positive reinforcement will yield results much more quickly and efficiently than punishers will.

So stop cutting and poking yourself.

Well, actually my idea about the whole exercise is more like a game than as a “real” punishment. I've never cut or hurt my body and thanks God I'm pretty far to embody an emo. Also I do not think AC would encourage someone to really cut the wrists or to hurt the body, it's just figurative. Or I guess so.
The fact of being very careful to avoid some words and certain moves brings an interesting method to be more aware of the moment. And of course, there are countless ways to do it. This is one.

Anyway I understand the point. And the paragraphs that I have read, your opinions and those from "Los" and "MysticLogician" have given me an idea. During a certain time -and without implying “a huge effort” - I will compare the results of this exercise done with a modern technique using positive reinforcement, or similar as you say, to those results derived from the ancient technique. Will be fun to record the results.
Thanks for your feedback.
93 93/93

Ch13


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 Anonymous
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18/11/2010 3:53 am  

Kudos


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OKontrair
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18/11/2010 12:15 pm  

I can't see how positive reinforcement for successful abstention is going to work without installing a counter habit of greater allure.

Although I suppose if you ate a box of chocolates every day that you didn't rob a bank you would end up too fat to get through the door and too slow to run off with the money.

OK


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
18/11/2010 2:43 pm  

I used to do a lot of these types of exercises to train myself magickally. Sometimes I feel like they are plain boring and I don't really gain a whole lot from them. There is no question that it is effective. You will entered a heavily altered state of consciousness and there is much to be subjectively gained from this sort of discipline. It's good to have as a past thing you did when you 'got into the stuff' and really started heavily training. Honestly though, after getting to the point where I could understand most magick scripts and procedures, or to the point I'd be willing to call myself at least an intermediate magickian, practices like these are totally drown out for me. Raja Yoga, Magick Experimentation, and Academic Scientific Training are my real posts that have proven themselves sturdy and useful.


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
18/11/2010 3:34 pm  

What you have there in tiny letters is certainly an example of positive reinforcement, but I would say it's kind of an abuse of the concept.


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
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18/11/2010 4:09 pm  

Not taking into account reinforcement schedules obviously, it would be a poor design.


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phthah
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Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 210
18/11/2010 7:04 pm  

93,

"Ch13" wrote:
93
I've been trying with great effort over two weeks to perform the difficult task of engaging the Three Beasts to work the Field. As you know when the art fails, it is recommended a "sharp cut" in the specific part that is mentioned.
Now, I would like to know what experiences had others on this job. For my part, I got a gold pin that I apply to –quite gently of course- when the Art fails. But it is not easy to continue the work and Choronzon always ends up winning the spot.
If possible, any advice from Thelemites brothers?
93 93/93

Ch13

Greetings Ch13! IMO, for the serious aspirant, the practice of Liber III is a very important and beneficial tool. It should be practiced assiduously, especially by the beginner. Though the practice of Liber III is effective, it is also quite difficult. Once you begin, the temptation to find reasons why you should quit the practice are strong. For example, you might say, "I just don't think this practice has all that much value", or "Perhaps I should look into more positive forms of reinforcement, as opposed to the negative reinforcers suggested by Crowley". These are all just ways to "let you off the hook", because as I mentioned this is a most difficult practice. You should try to shun them. This is all part of the practice. The key is perseverance. You say you have been practicing for two weeks. Surely you must see that this is just a drop in the bucket as far as time frame goes. Now, there is some pratical advice given in part II of Book IV (Liber ABA) in the chapter on "The Wand". I would recommend you read that chapter. However, here is a quote from it regarding Liber III:

"Again let it be said that Liber III is a most admirable method for the beginner, and it will be best, even if you are very confident in your strength, to take the vow for very short periods, beginning with an hour and increasing daily by half-hours until the day is filled. Then rest a while, and attempt a two-day practice; and so on until you are perfect.

You should also begin with the very easiest practices. But the thing which you are sworn to avoid should not be a thing which normally you would do infrequently; because the strain on the memory which subserves your vigilance would be very great, and the practice become difficult. It is just as well at first that the pain of your arm should be there at the time when you would normally do the forbidden thing, to warn you against its repetition."

"Ch13" wrote:
Also I do not think AC would encourage someone to really cut the wrists or to hurt the body, it's just figurative...

Wrong. That is exactly what he is asking you to do. For example, check out the picture of Frater Achad's arms after doing this practice. Cutting the arm as directed is the most effective method, IMO. The punishment has to be "real".

"AEternitas" wrote:
dog that gets kicked everytime it pees on the floor is likely to pee on the floor more...

Then you are not kicking it hard enough! My experience has been the exact opposite of this. I'm on my fourth or fifth dog now and in every case, I have only had to traumatize them once over evacuating on the floor and they never did it again!

93 93/93
phthah


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mika
 mika
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18/11/2010 7:54 pm  
"Ch13" wrote:
I think that your words reminds me -in some ways- the distinction between “enormous effort” and “intention”. That in themselves are very different.

Yes, definitely. Intention is not enough, causing change requires actual effort.

Regarding the question of positive v. negative reinforcement, both sides of that argument miss the point of this exercise. You don't cut yourself (or snap a rubber band on your wrist or whatever) because you made a mistake or fell off the wagon or lost your way so then you need to punish yourself. You do it to bring your mental focus into the present moment. There's no value judgment attached to it, it's just a really effective tool.


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
18/11/2010 8:31 pm  

Wow, you actually kick and abuse your dogs? And you say you are on your fourth or fifth one?
So do you have so0me kind of Thelemic excuse for that kind of behavior or do you justify in some other way?
Sorry, don't , mean to shift the conversation off topic, I was just a bit taken aback at that.


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
18/11/2010 8:41 pm  

Mika, whether or not the point is to punish yourself for making a mistake, when you cut yourself for thoughtlessly saying "I" then you are in fact punishing yourself and if you keep doing it, you are going to eventually think twice about what you are going to say when you open your mouth, and if you prolong the excersie long enough you are likely to have inflicted a series of minor traumas upon yourself. The end result of over doing it is that you end up a bit fucked emotionally, much like phthah's four or five dogs were/are. Ultimately you are just giving yourself a certain form of post traumatic stress, which really only serves to diminish your own self empowerment. And it's just mean to your animal body and consciousness.


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Azidonis
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18/11/2010 9:14 pm  

93,

Try giving yourself a day or two of complete freedom with it... don't attempt not to do/say/think the desired thing, just cut/poke/prod/mark/chastise yourself anyway when it happens. Get an average idea of how many times you do/say/think whatever it is within a 24 hour period. From there, you have a sort of control number. The goal, of course, is to continually lower that control number until it reaches zero consistently.

93 93/93


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Los
 Los
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18/11/2010 10:55 pm  
"mika" wrote:
You don't cut yourself (or snap a rubber band on your wrist or whatever) because you made a mistake or fell off the wagon or lost your way so then you need to punish yourself. You do it to bring your mental focus into the present moment. There's no value judgment attached to it, it's just a really effective tool.

Bingo. The point is to make you *aware* of how often your mind and body disobey "you."

You bring yourself into repeated awareness -- perhaps for the first time -- of the nature of the task to be accomplished.


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
18/11/2010 11:31 pm  

one point in relation to physical cutting, and its benefit, (beyond ideas of 'punishment') is that the physical pain serves as a constant background reminder and in the practise becomes associated with the thing 'forbidden'. the pain helps keep you mindfull.

rubber band thwacking doesnt have the same ability to create an ongoing, background, level of discomfort and is less effective in assisting 'mindfullness' IMO

my most successful use of 'jugorem' tied the practice to a naturally occuring source of pain...(i wont say what 🙂 there is no force in the universe that is not subservient to the will of the magician. 🙂


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phthah
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19/11/2010 12:47 am  

93,

"AEternitas" wrote:
Wow, you actually kick and abuse your dogs...

Of course not. I was merely trying to make a point based on your example of a dog being kicked. IMO a dog can be trained with negative reinforcement because I have done it to house train all my dogs. My method is however basically non-physical and completely irrelevant to this thread.

"mika" wrote:
Regarding the question of positive v. negative reinforcement, both sides of that argument miss the point of this exercise. You don't cut yourself (or snap a rubber band on your wrist or whatever) because you made a mistake or fell off the wagon or lost your way so then you need to punish yourself. You do it to bring your mental focus into the present moment. There's no value judgment attached to it, it's just a really effective tool...

Agreed! Here is another quote from Crowley with a relevant comment by Motta:

"Above all the practices of Liber III must be done again and again, for these practices develop not only vigilance but those inhibiting centres in the brain which are, according to some psychologists, the mainspring of the mechanism by which civilized man has raised himself above the savage."

"Those inhibiting centers are volitional and conscious, and should not be confused with the mechanism of a psychological block produced by painful experiences or external conditioning, although they act along the same nerve paths in many ways. The inhibiting centers to which Crowley refers are those that do not allow an impulsive action to be committed without permission of the Will."

"davyp93" wrote:
one point in relation to physical cutting, and its benefit, (beyond ideas of 'punishment') is that the physical pain serves as a constant background reminder and in the practise becomes associated with the thing 'forbidden'. the pain helps keep you mindfull...

I have always found the physical cutting to be more effective than a rubberband snap, but that's just me.

93 93/93
phthah


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